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Political will lacking to deal with jobless expats – Douglas Wheatley

- Jobless expats will rape my children - a caller to the 3D Show stated
Host of the 3D radio programme, Mr Douglas Wheatley, expressed that political will was lacking in dealing with the jobless expatriate situation. Photo:VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – One caller on the 3D radio show expressed grave concern about the number of jobless expatriates within the Virgin Islands who stand around on a daily basis waiting to be selected for jobs.

On the show aired on a local radio station on February 15, 2013 the caller talked about the men who sit around at a certain gas station waiting for someone to ask whether they need a ‘day job’.

“If you have twenty guys that can sit by every day, as construction workers, don’t have anything to do, how in the name of God did they get another ten or fifteen or twenty – I don’t care if they’re Fillipino, Malaysians, Kittitians – how did you get them in here?,” the caller asked.

He felt that the country is being set up for a serious downfall because of this.

“You will have persons in the country who cannot get work… and if they don’t have a job, you’re asking for trouble,” he continued.

He further questioned how more men had managed to be brought to the Territory looking for jobs when “we have twenty or twenty-five sitting down and don’t have anything to do”.

“Is the system working the way it should work?” the caller asked.

The caller claimed that the situation bothered him ‘badly’ as when the men couldn’t find work, “they come into my home, they will rape my children, they will kill my children…” He felt it was serious and needed to be addressed urgently.

Host of the programme, Mr Douglas Wheatley replied, “You’re throwing the ball right in the hands of the government… we have a government in place and they’re supposed to be looking out for the welfare and interest of the people of these islands.”

He felt that just as the caller had noticed persons standing around waiting for jobs, similarly, government personnel and politicians were also noticing the problem and it was for them to do something by working more closely with the departments that were under them.

“I think that the problem has been staring us in the face for a long time, and what we need is the political will to do something about it,” Mr Wheatley stated.

The caller added that he had spoken recently to a ‘senior person’ and ‘well-respected’ member of the community who had also observed the situation and asked the person whether they had not noticed what was going on around the Territory.

The caller claimed that the person responded that they have a construction company of their own but noted “the kind of money that the regular guys are looking for in construction these days is outrageous, and this is why we have to bring in the Fillipinos, because anything you give the Fillipinos they take.”

“We’re creating a social problem here,” the caller ended.

Wheatley reiterated that the political will to do something about it was lacking… “for the welfare, the benefit of the country, we must really look into these matters, because if we don’t address them, they will only get worse.”

He added that sometimes the issues are not addressed because it might be felt that actions might be perceived as being ‘unkind to other persons’.

“I think that we have a country to run and we have to do the best job that we can for the benefit of the people,” Mr Wheatley added. He also felt that there was a time, fifteen or twenty years ago, when the problem was just developing and could be nipped in the bud, but wasn’t for some reason.

He called for the implementation of a needs assessment or man-power study to be done in the Territory, noting that it could be done from right within the Territory.

8 Responses to “Political will lacking to deal with jobless expats – Douglas Wheatley”

  • Buh-Deh (18/02/2013, 08:16) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I'm with you guys on this one...this is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Confucius (18/02/2013, 09:50) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Part of the problem is that contractors need to have men ready, willing and able to work. They hire these people (at low hourly rate) from outside the territory and tell them that they need to have them on hand but can't provide full time work. So, the men take the jobs and are forced to find work for themselves when their employers have none to offer. They are not paid unless they work and for the most part, they are not told that they will not have full time work before they arrive here.

    This is a problem LOCAL CONTRACTORS have created. It is NOT the fault of the workers they brought here under false pretenses. Many of these men are thousands of miles from home and the jobs they came for were misrepresented.

    Having said that, the contractors are also between a rock and a hard place because they can't find local construction workers to do the jobs required. Without construction workers, nothing gets done. It is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation for all concerned.

    This all boils down to the social problems we have here. Our children do not want to be construction workers. Nobody from the BVI particularly wants to be a construction worker.

    So where does that leave us?
  • AA (18/02/2013, 12:53) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not sure I got Doug’s point
  • . (18/02/2013, 13:37) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    They can simply return home
  • ReX FeRal (18/02/2013, 14:21) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    These people can find work where they came from but they use a work permit to migrate here permanently.
  • UDN (18/02/2013, 19:15) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Expat - no job - deported . I thought if you didn't have a job after a certain amount of time you where instructed to leave. I guess to govenrment can't be bothered.
  • mad (18/02/2013, 22:20) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    the BVI is reaping only what it has been sowing over the decades

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