Guyanese have to be given first option for local jobs - Nadir
Stabroek News
December 6, 2006

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Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir says Guyanese have to be given the first option for local jobs before foreigners are recruited.

Nadir was responding to a question on a report in the Guyana Chronicle in which owner of Buddy's International Hotel, Prakash Shivraj made known his intention to import his management staff from India and a number of other persons from China to fill positions at the hotel.

"The policy with regards to local business people hiring foreigners to work with them is that they must get work permits from the Ministry of Home Affairs which is mandatory under the Immigration Act," Nadir told Stabroek News.

Media reports say the well known businessman will be importing all his management staff for the new hotel, currently under construction, from India and noted too that that he preferred that the hotel be run by a highly trained and expert staff. The reports said also that they were allowed 20 percent overseas staff.

The reports sparked comments and queries in a number of circles, about whether Guyana had a shortage of trained and skilled personnel who could perform the same duties and particularly if any Guyanese would be given a high-ranking position at the hotel. More importantly, these concerns were raised in light of high rates of unemployment among university graduates and skilled persons.

Nadir said that "first choice must go to Guyanese to any service being offered by a local company."

"This is why I urge that local companies make use of the ministry's recruitment and manpower division and help companies to advertise their vacancies and subsequently fill them," the minister added.

"But it is not for an employer alone to decide. Guyanese have the first opportunities to fill vacancies and if the employer so decides that he has advertised enough here and has not found anyone here then they could get people from overseas but the Ministry of Home Affairs is the only place where work permits are granted," Nadir stated.

He added that this goes for any other employer who will want to import employees.