The Caribbean can benefit twofold from an extreme labour shortage plaguing the United Kingdom, says the CEO of a regional online recruitment service.
“We’ve already seen a noticeable uptick in foreign employers, especially from the UK, recruiting local Caribbean talent,” says Joseph Boll, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO, “but there are opportunities from the other way around as well.
“Just as UK employers want to hire Caribbean workers, thousands of British workers are looking to leave home to live and work abroad. This is where remote work programmes in the Caribbean can come to the forefront and use that desire to their advantage.”
Boll notes the already-high pent-up demand for travel as COVID-related restrictions have eased around the world.
“The Caribbean is already a highly desirable destination for visitors,” says the CEO, “but why stop there? There is a growing digital nomad market, where remote workers travel the world to live in different locations while still working for their employers back home. The Caribbean can benefit by making this easy and welcoming them.”
One such example is the Work From Bermuda programme, which that nation’s government said contributed some $28 million to the local economy. Since its launch in August 2020, the Work From Bermuda programme garnered 1,315 applicants, of which 1,127 were approved and 234 remain in the country as of August 2022. The Bermudian government says it intends to continue the widely successful initiative, hailing the programme as “a win-win for both visitors and Bermuda”.
Last year, Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Charles Jeffers II told Remote Worker UK, an affiliate of Caribbean Employment Services Inc., of the programme’s tremendous success. He highlighted the economic boost to tourism as well as local businesses and the local rental accommodation market.
Up to now, those benefits show no sign of slowing down as the government of Bermuda says it “continues to be encouraged by the number of new applications submitted weekly and the number of individuals who are choosing to renew their stay for an additional year”.
Boll notes that several other Caribbean nations had launched similar remote work programmes, though their levels of success are not widely known.
“Other countries should take note of the UK’s labour climate and Bermuda’s success and put the two together,” says Boll, a staunch advocate for remote work. “There are benefits to be gained from Caribbean residents working remotely; from them taking advantage of work abroad opportunities in the UK; and from Caribbean nations letting foreigners live and work in their locales for short periods of time. The conditions are right; we just have to reach out and seize that opportunity.”
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