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New work permit, hiring system to put entire Labour Department online

-Hon Lona G. Smith said system to streamline hiring in the VI
Persons looking to hire or get hired in the Virgin Islands (VI) will soon be able to take advantage of the Department of Labor’s new online work permit system designed to streamline hiring in the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Hon Lorna G. Smith (AL) made the announcement during a press conference today, April 4, 2024. Photo: GIS/Facebook
Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Hon Lorna G. Smith (AL) made the announcement during a press conference today, April 4, 2024. Photo: GIS/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Persons looking to hire or get hired in the Virgin Islands (VI) will soon be able to take advantage of the Department of Labour and Workforce Development's new online work permit system designed to streamline hiring in the territory.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL) made the announcement during a press conference on April 4, 2024.

‘This is a system where the whole labour system will be online, so you would have jobs, employers would be advertising their jobs and you as an employee or persons as employees would then be able to make an application via the system,” she said.

Hon Smith said in terms of how it will work, there will be need for a broad education programme on it, but persons wishing to employ persons would put the application online and in return, if you wish to apply for the job, you would make the application and any number of persons will be able to apply for the position.”

“Of course, there would be an opportunity to be interviewed, and then there is a rating system where you rate the persons and then the department becomes involved,” she said.  

Totally new system - Mervin D. Hastings

Meanwhile, the acting Labour Commissioner, Mr Mervin D. Hastings said it is a totally new system that will be nothing like the old work permit and online system.

“Job seekers and employers would be able to go online, apply and register and do the entire process on our line online system... if you want to make a dispute that would also be via online now,” he said. 

“Anyone from Timbuktu to Africa looking for employment in the Virgin Islands can log on to the new management system,” he said.  

Mr Hastings said both employees and employers will be able to see details on jobs and candidates; however, persons at the back end will be able to see the stats of how many locals and expatriates are being hired. 

“You'll be able to make claims via online and also, very importantly, you'll be able to pay for your work permit applications via online as well, which is very important as we're going to the E-government system,” he said. 

Previously, Hon Smith said the system would become operational from June of this year. She said the government has contracted Januvation Solutions, Inc. from January to July of 2024 to ensure a smooth and effective implementation of the new Labour Management System.

8 Responses to “New work permit, hiring system to put entire Labour Department online”

  • Well saw.. (05/04/2024, 11:49) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lorna has her draws stock with food but nothing getting cooked. While people go hungry..Starting cooking something Lorna all these nice ideas and nothing getting done..
  • Info (05/04/2024, 13:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Here we goooo (05/04/2024, 13:24) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope it's better than the online services the immigration department offers cause they never reply to emails down there
  • LABOUR (05/04/2024, 14:48) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Problem is 120000 people, half the population? Ideas: annual temp residency (allowed to work) renewable for 5 years, issue permanent residency certs apply at 15 years. Bring back VIP process for high earners, $100000 for fast track - that must have been a great fundraiser! Matching applicants and jobs is great but we stuck trying to get everyone in the financial sector. What we need are schools to train for marine and engineering industry, trade schools, carpenters, plumbers, electricians. The youth are not being trained for the majority of the work permit jobs
    • @LABOUR (06/04/2024, 02:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Agree that 12,000 work permit holders is too much and for the trade school initiative. I will, however, say most of the work permit holders are learning right on the job and that is a special privilege for locals.

      Visited a restaurant recently for a sit-down meal as normally I am a take out kind of person, and the waiters were friendly but totally mixed up every order for a party of five. I know some of our young people are not being assertive in trying to find work, but certainly there are those who are and they are being passed over for persons from all the way across the Pacific. I believe now almost every single business in Town is joining this action. I believe some of their family members are looking for work and they are passing them over. This country will suffer the consequences for this. Being loving and kind and open to hiring outsiders is expected, but not watching the levels, in this small country, and sacrificing your own in the process will not be reciprocated as it is quite foolish.
    • @ Labour (06/04/2024, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Don’t think there is 120,000 people here. About 60% of people here are from elsewhere. If the estimated total population is 40,000, then there are about 24,000 outsiders. Some are too young to work, some may be be retired, some may already be residents, so say 20,000 need annual work permits. Most of those are renewals. Since there are 200 working days per year, Labor would have to process 100 permits per day. A staff of 12 would have to then process about one permit application per hour, done more easily if others (ie applicants) enter all their data. Will this result in improved service and expediency? I’ll let others answer.
  • same old (06/04/2024, 13:31) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I have an idea. What about we have a freeze on new work permits, unless absolutely essential, until the end of the year and let who are here be placed, especially the locals who are in dire need of promotions and lots of our young people entry level work. Lots of them have been educated with a first degree from our college and higher. Some are just high school graduates and attending college. Some are not attending college as they cannot afford it. Part time work would assist in those cases. And I know persons are going to mention skilled workers, but I am sorry, the majority of the work permit holders in our restaurants, supermarkets, stores, etc, do not require special skills. Don't get me wrong, seeking a better life on a distant shore must be difficult and brave and I applaud those who take the sacrifice. I am just afraid for the younger generation that I see idle on the block, on motorcycles, sitting all over Town. I am even seeing work permit holders idle. No one is checking if they are working. They are out there freelancing and conducting service business for persons and no one is checking these things. I just implore employers to take the opportunity to have the local job seeker come in and build a career for that is how all of us started. That is how many of us got a start. We are not perfect and serious supervision on new hires are always important, but to bring in workers and ignore your own is absolutely wrong. 10,000 work permits for this small community is totally unnecessary. Our children are brighter than we were at their age. Let's encourage them and give them a brighter future. Give them an entry level job and then encourage them to go to school to further their education like it was done years ago. When they do so, bring in another and another. Some will return skilled and be grateful to you and your country for a bright future. And hire two part timers as well. Every little helps. The way I see it, it can only bode well for the building up of the next generation and our country. Let's be futuristic in our thinking.

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