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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: We must use our own for the job

Rev Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT:  We must use our own for the job

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For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flowers fall and its beauty perishes. So the rich man fades away in the midst of his pursuits.

James 1:11.

I AM compelled this week to write on the work permit issue in Barbados, which is appearing in the printed media and being discussed on the call-in programmes.

But what really made me write is the recent advertisement which was published in the NATION on August 13, 18 and 20, 2015, under the caption Mixologist Required. Part of the ad stated “we require a bartending trainer to instruct student currently employed, to certificate level.”

Then followed another “ad” under the caption Application For work Permit, which stated in part that for the position of mixologist at Red Door Lounge there were no suitable responses and it is their intention to submit an application for a work permit for a non-national.

I have two questions for the owner of the Red Door Lounge: Have you looked around hard enough? Why not send a worker (bartender) or two for training overseas in order to meet the requirement?

Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Alvin Jemmott, in the SUNDAYSUN, stated that there are highly trained and qualified mixologists who can be found in Barbados. I am sure that Jemmott is in a position to speak on the subject for he has been in the industry for a number of years.

The outrage is very timely, because there have been a number of companies, especially in the tourism and hospitality industries who have been applying for work permits for non-national staff for too long now and are getting away with it.

The time is ripe that we have to put our foot down, and it is now. We in Barbados have many good and qualified persons who are working in the tourism sector.

We must use our own, and the Government must send a very strong message from now on to those companies who are planning to bring in non-nationals to do work that Barbadians can do.