March 7, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Why can’t I find a job?

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Colin WilsonwebThere is no doubt there is something rotten in the Cayman when it comes to job advertising.

Despite the Cayman first policy and all the rules we still see job advertisements that are placed with low pay, low prospects but University degree qualifications required.

What puzzles me is why these employers placing these adverts think they will get away with it?

If it is obvious to us, who are ‘untrained’ to spot this, it must be a huge red flag to our ‘trained’ immigration staff/board members who process the applications.

However, there are some out there who have all the necessary qualifications on paper, are Caymanian, and still can’t find a job.

Why is that?

One such person, and I am not naming names, is often in the public limelight because of the public stance he/she makes.

That immediately puts a red flag in the mind of an employer. The last thing any employer wants in his or her workforce is a troublemaker and someone not afraid to stand up for what he/she perceives as right and goes public on it, fits into that trouble box.

Then there is the person looking for a job who on paper fits the bill but whose manner when being interviewed makes the employer ‘uncomfortable’. The very last thing an interviewee should do in an interview is to become the interviewer.

Then there are the job placement agencies and the government ones come with the very worst of reputations.

Here in the Cayman Islands we have the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA). If you go to their website (www.nwda.gov.ky) it is very informative and looks very efficient:

“Job Seekers: The NWDA assists Caymanian job seekers with employment-related services including enrollment, and training for job postings.

“Career Assessment Centre: Identifies your strengths, suggests possible careers & provides e-learning modules to build your skills

“Career Counselling: Professional career counsellors provide one-on-one sessions to assist job seekers understand the various job opportunities in the Cayman Islands.

“Skills & Training: The NWDA provides training to develop a variety of specific skills and personal development training to enhance employability.

“Job Listings: We maintain a database of current vacancies and can help find the right job for you.

“What We Do: The function of the National Workforce Development Agency is to assist applicants with employment-related services necessary to secure and maintain acceptable employment.”

I am impressed.

However, in an article on CNS “Job seeker hurdles mount” that appeared last Monday (28) job seekers were not so impressed with the NWDA.

One is quoted as saying, “There is a clear disconnect between what is needed in the job market and the NWDA, which does not seem to be equipped to assist qualified or experienced job seekers,” he told CNS. With employers throwing up more and more barriers, he said, the difficulties that genuine job seekers face are not being taken seriously by the NWDA.

“Another candidate who registered with the NWDA wrote to Employment Minister Tara Rivers as a result of what he described as a “frustrating” and “humiliating experience” at the NWDA. Despite being a PR professional he was offered work as a gardener or a hotel busboy.

“Going to a meeting for a so-called assessment, being handed a booklet of jobs and then told to pick the one I want boggles my mind at how simply unprofessional the process and treatment was,” the candidate told the minister in his letter.”

The article concludes, “While the National Workforce Development Agency is claiming to be upping its game in assisting those looking for work and communicating directly with the immigration boards so that they know where Caymanians are available for permit jobs, candidates tell CNS that there are a catalogue of problems with the government job agency’s online portal as well. Employers are also reporting some difficulties using the new website and finding potential candidates.”

My own personal experience of the NWDA or the Government Labour Office (it had a different name in my day as an employer) out of 10 candidates for a job it sent me, after I had been very precise at the qualifications needed for the job(s), only one even remotely fitted the bill.

It is no use bashing the government. Employers want the best person for the job.

If that person is a Caymanian he should and must get it. Why would an employer want to have to go to all the hassle and expense of employing an ex-pat when it would be cheaper and quicker to employ a Caymanian?

Unfortunately, whilst it is improving, and I am pleased to say, improving quickly, there are sadly not enough Caymanians who have the necessary qualifications nor show the willingness to learn and start at the bottom of the ladder.

The ones that do, rise quickly, despite the perception in the media, and an example of that is Caymanian Stephen Watler.

See iNews Cayman story published July 27 2014 “Cayman Islands funds lawyer returns from Hong Kong secondment” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/caymanian-funds-lawyer-returns-from-hong-kong-secondment/

Why can’t I find a job? Often I am the reason.

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