Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 545-3572; ads call 440-6666                               Sittings from House of Assembly are carried live on 90.9 FM the Caribbean superstation or follow live online: www.cbnvirginislands.com

‘We can’t afford to keep importing ‘technical’ labour’- Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith

- says government needs to position locals for certain jobs
Taking another shot for the seat as Representative of the Third District on the National Democratic Party (NDP) slate, Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith is against the importation of certain technical labour, citing that locals need to be trained in certain skills to take on positions such as engineers in the territory. Photo: VINO
According to Mr Kevin 'OJ' Smith, a former Postmaster General, 'We cannot in this day and age, as we lead people, only know somebody when it’s time to get a vote and during the rest of the term you don’t know them.' Photo: VINO
According to Mr Kevin 'OJ' Smith, a former Postmaster General, 'We cannot in this day and age, as we lead people, only know somebody when it’s time to get a vote and during the rest of the term you don’t know them.' Photo: VINO
SEA COW’S BAY, Tortola, VI – Making some of his views on economic development and empowerment known as he makes another try for the seat of Representative for the Third District, National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith is against the importation of certain technical labour, citing that locals need to be trained in certain skills to take on positions such as engineers in the territory.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Palestina Estate in the Third District on June 3, 2015, Mr Smith said working in the telecommunications industry has allowed him to see how the territory is lacking in certain skilled areas of labour and the need to be importing persons with the necessary skills.

“But where are the local engineers? Every time there is a need for engineers, every time there is a need for a particular technical skill we have to import them from overseas. We can’t as a country afford to keep doing that. We have to prepare BVIslanders to take full opportunity of what’s available in our country... It’s about putting our people first,” argued Mr Smith, as he noted that building a country is by building its people.

Recommendations

In defending his position, Mr Smith said, “We need to know what type of unemployment exists in our district because I don’t understand that we have certain programmes run in government and we not participating in the national programme… We need to be fully integrated into the government’s programme to make sure that any person employed in our district is getting the training that they need and the opportunity to find work.”

Smith contended that in order for there to be full transparency and that every person, be they a labourer or other skilled person, there should be an established register so that when it’s time for work to be done in the district, the Representative would know exactly who to call and to make sure that there is equal opportunity for all.

Respect people always, not only election time

Alluding to the words in the Territorial Song “that they may live in harmony”, Mr Smith, a former Postmaster General, said “We cannot in this day and age, as we lead people, only know somebody when it’s time to get a vote and during the rest of the term you don’t know them.”

He added, “You can’t hate or despise one group of the electorate and then come election time and say I want your support. We have to continue to build an inclusive society because I believe that so long as you are a Belonger, so long as you are a BVIslander all of us are citizens of the country and we need to be treated with equal respect.”

25 Responses to “‘We can’t afford to keep importing ‘technical’ labour’- Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith”

  • right (04/06/2015, 09:28) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    OJ-“You can’t hate or despise one group of the electorate and then come election time and say I want your support. We have to continue to build an inclusive society because I believe that so long as you are a Belonger, so long as you are a BVIslander all of us are citizens of the country and we need to be treated with equal respect.”
    Thank you OJ, now before you tell us that, please inform yo party of this breaking news!
    • The Watcher (04/06/2015, 11:59) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      With that philosophy you are in the wrong party my friend. How did that happen? I like you though you have my support.
  • pat (04/06/2015, 09:37) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    So sorry u cant beat fraser we liberator
  • .......... (04/06/2015, 09:39) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    See the ndp hate expats...this is an insult to our brothers and sisters from down islands...i going green
  • NDP heckler (04/06/2015, 09:47) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply

    His colleague just imported 15 fillipinos to work at his establishment.

  • ooooo (04/06/2015, 09:50) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    the disappearing houdini has reappeared
  • Joker (04/06/2015, 09:52) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    THIS IS THE COMEDIAN MURDOCK FROM THE A-TEAM....LOL
  • ???? (04/06/2015, 10:01) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    How many locals his dad bull dog have working for him????
  • cay (04/06/2015, 10:16) Like (18) Dislike (6) Reply
    see he waited too long to speak about ideas after a month of bashing..Fraser got this!
  • ... (04/06/2015, 10:18) Like (20) Dislike (6) Reply
    OJ you looking tired already. Go get some rest.
  • NDP heckler (04/06/2015, 10:36) Like (24) Dislike (5) Reply
    How many asians his colleagues recently hired at their establishments? I heard it was over 20.
  • LOL (04/06/2015, 10:58) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This one done start bawling already?
  • mudslinger (04/06/2015, 11:05) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am still waiting to see he and his wife on stage together.
  • Scientist (04/06/2015, 11:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    How many candidates are endorsing greater spending and support for education? There is no reason why a country like the BVIs should not be a leader in education in the Caribbean given the money and resources it has. But we are giving our children the education they need to meet the demands of the labour market in the BVIs. Instead, they get to grow up seeing cronyism, glad handing and corruption, and during election season, mud slinging and empty promises, many of which are poorly thought out and unrealistic.
  • ............ (04/06/2015, 12:39) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    if u cant control ur family affairs how r u going to control a community
  • yan (04/06/2015, 13:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    oj I agree with you on this 100 percent
  • Can't Walk in Fraser shoe (04/06/2015, 13:42) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    OJ cannot walk in Hon. Julian Fraser shoes... A leader of a district put his district need first and that's something Fraser did in his 16yrs of Leadership...What can OJ do that Fraser haven't done in his time? What changes can he bring? All OJ talk about is what Fraser and his brother have, how can this move the district forward. OJ is a great person but he uneasy, not settle and not ready to be a leader.. Taking shots in the US army does not make you a soldier for the BVI.. So stop talk non sense "Fraser is the real LEADER"
  • NDP Always Right!! (04/06/2015, 13:59) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Look at all of NDP candidates businesses, how much locals working their vs Flilopino? I'm sure its 1 to 10, don't send stone when living in a glass house.. Nothing NDP do it wrong they always right and OJ is not different that why he on the right side. SOLUTE TO OJ THE US SOLDIER!!
  • SHAME (04/06/2015, 15:51) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    On tell your friends at the tourist board that too. They steady importing
  • as I say (04/06/2015, 17:28) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I must agree with you that we need our people to be technically skilled. I know that we have some very talented young people here in the territory and they should be recognized and given the assistance needed, to develope them selves. However Sir, as you know, most of these Companies according to their Policies and for certain Insurance protocols, are left with no other choice than to use a person within the Company with a specefic technical skill to carry out certain diagnostic procedures. This could mean "importing" that person into the Territory, when one cannot be found in that Department here. Even a person could be found here with the same skill he will not be used.
  • milly (04/06/2015, 19:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yes is now i know that he hate expacts. you hear how he put it importing techinal labour from overseas he want to say down island .please overseas people DONOT VOTE FOR HIM LET US CLING TOGETHER and stay put. and vote FRASER
  • E. Leonard (04/06/2015, 20:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    From Emancipation up the mid 60's, Virgin Islanders depended heavily on subsistence agriculture, fishing, sailing, remittance from families working overseas....etc to eek out s living. Starting in the mid 60's, the seeds of tourism germinated and bore fruit. In the late 80's financial services did likewise. These two industries blossomed and today they are the twin pillars of the economy, transforming the BVI economy. The transformed economy created more jobs and demanded new skilled sets.

    Nonetheless, the BVI failed to effectively invest in its human capital to meet the growing demands of the new economy. A small population, coupled with rising demand for skilled workers, required recruiting expat workers. And after several decades, there is still a dearth of skilled local workers and still a great demand to recruit from overseas. Additionally, the shortage of skill local workers is exacerbated by the mistaken belief by too many locals that there is a stigma to working outdoors in non-airconditioned environment with their hands.

    Moreover, expat workers contribute to the growth and development of the BVI, perform jobs that Virgin Islandes for the most part shun,enriched the culture, as well as provide business opporunities for local business owners, ie, retail customers, apartment and home rental....etc. The only down side, if any, is the leakage of money out the country. Annually, hundrred of thousand if not , millions of dollars leave the BVI economy. Money if stayed llocal could have created a multiplier effect in the economy.This is not a diss of expats; it is just discussing the economics. Expats are just filling a void and a need. Remittance is a cultural action of Caribbean nationals working overseas. In fact, remittances are part of the economy of many Caribbean countries. Further, sending money back to home countries is not uniquely Caribbean; all other expats workers do it. Be that as it may, what can the BVI do increase its skilled labour pool and employ more locals?

    The BVI lost much time and missed opportunities to increase local participation in skilled jobs work force. It needs to embark on a comprehensive revamped of and investment in its education and training programme with the goal of preparing Virgin Islanders from Premier on down. It needs to be a long term, phased process, not a quick fix. The revamp must entail and extend from pre-K to the tertiary level. It must provide tracks for academics and vocational tech. Suggested plan: VICER 2035(Virgin Islands Comprehensive Education Revamp 2035).


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.