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Immigration and Workforce Development

21 Aug 2023

LC’s in-depth look at Immigration and Workforce Development began with a tour of Customs and Border Control offices in the Owen Roberts International Airport building. Then the class relocated to the KPMG offices in Cricket Square for dinner and the seminar & breakout sessions.  The objectives were to learn about the challenges of balancing and delivering on demands of key stakeholders in the immigration process, including the Caymanian Public, elected officials, expatriate residents, and the private sector, and to explore how the Cayman Islands can continue attracting the required talent it needs to compete in today’s global community.

The Keynote Speaker was Mr. Kevin Walton, Director of Customs and Border Control . Mr. Walton is the Deputy Director of Customs and Border Control (CBC) and led the Duty Collections Office (Cargo Clearances), Bonded Warehousing, Parcel Post (Post Office), and Courier Clearance Depot

Panelists during the breakout sessions were Ms. Theresa Pitairn, LLB (Hons), Chairman – Labour Appeals Tribunal; Mr. Nicholas Joseph, Partner (Law) at HSM; and Ms. Louise Reed, Managing Director CML Group and NOVA. KY

During the Breakout Sessions, all participants were separated into three groups. Each group had 40 minutes in each session to discuss topics with each of the panelists.

With a relatively small local labor pool the primary pillars of the Islands’ economy, financial services, and tourism heavily depend on overseas workers. Out of a population of approximately 71,105* and a total labor force of some 47,000* there are presently over 25,000* non-permanent foreign workers living in the Islands. The Islands are socially and culturally diverse, with over 162* nationalities represented in the population.

Hence, immigration is a key tool of economic policy of the Islands where changes can have an immediate and resulting consequence on the country's economic activity and has consequential flow on impacts in other areas such as healthcare, education, tourism, security, government, and social welfare. It is critical to ensure that the immigration framework remains flexible to meet the changing requirements of the Islands and their people, including balancing the protectionism elements of the same