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Labour Department to get a Deputy Commissioner

Labour Department to get a Deputy Commissioner

The Department of Labour will soon receive a Deputy Labour Commissioner to help relieve some of the burdens shouldered by the Labour Commissioner.
This announcement was made at a press conference on Friday by Premier and Minister for Finance Dr Natalio Wheatley.

The Premier said he was in complete support of the Labour Department getting the resources they need to properly function and efficiently execute their jobs.

“Since I have assumed the post of Minister of Finance, I have approved for them to get a Deputy Labour Commissioner which they have not had for some time which would decrease the workload on the Labour Commissioner and I believe interviews have already been conducted for the Deputy Labour Commissioner,” the Premier said.

The Labour Department has long been a department under fire for what many people described as a lethargic approach in dealing with work permits.

At the same press conference, Labour Minister Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull described the department as having round pegs in square holes. He also said he had a conversation with Dr Wheatley about finding funds to hire additional staff.

The Minister of Finance confirmed that a few positions, along with the Deputy Commissioner, have been approved to be filled and he also reiterated his support for the Department.

“I will continue to be supportive in anyways I can because of course I know how important this is to the economy of the Virgin Islands and to people’s livelihood when people don’t get their work permits processed in a timely fashion. That brings into other questions about their immigration status and the time they have to be in the territory. It causes a lot of problems,” Dr Wheatley said.

“It certainly is a priority and anything I can do to help that process I will do. Keep in mind we certainly want to ensure that while we seek to process work permits, we have a process taking place that focuses on the development of our workforce to ensure people graduating from our secondary and tertiary institutions have a pathway into the workforce and they are not being side-lined or marginalized but of course, they have the skills necessary to meet the requirement of the job,” the Finance Minister added.

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