Leader of the Opposition wonders why there are so many vacancies in government

Ochief of the position, the Hon. Edwin Astwood said that between the start of the new fiscal year in March and November of this year, there was more than $ 3,43,281 in unspent funds due to vacancies waiting to be filled.

This, he said, represents some 387 positions and must be the highest number of vacancies on record for the government.

Speaking during the recent debate over supplementary appropriations in the House of Assembly, Astwood said that despite numerous claims of widespread publicity, vacancies are simply not being filled quickly enough.

“So why is that?” You have to ask yourself: Are these jobs really necessary? “We see some 64 vacancies in the police force, 20 of which are currently actively recruited,” he said.

“In addition, I have spoken to many people who have applied for public service jobs, and for the most part they have had no response, whether or not they are reasonably qualified, or like some highly qualified people. qualified for the advertised position. Nevertheless, the disclaimer that is always given is: “Only successful candidates will be notified.” Individuals therefore wait months wondering if the process is taking this long awaited time, or if they were not successful. “

Astwood added, “The headlines are showing record numbers of job openings, both in the public and private sectors. Government ministers boasted in the House of Assembly about the number of public service jobs. Many employers, including the government, say they are doing everything in their power to attract potential employees. For people looking for a job and those looking for a better job, the situation just doesn’t make sense – there is an incongruity between what they hear about jobs and what is actually going on.

For some of the jobs available in the public service, it was said that the people who applied did not have the right skills, nor all the qualifications they are looking for. On the other hand, they hear they don’t have the years of experience they want. “

Astwood said that in some cases there are a plethora of perfectly acceptable candidates and jobs, but for a plethora of reasons they just aren’t matched.

“There is a mismatch somewhere. Where there is an island Turk with the skills and experience, he should be promoted to the post, and not have the post advertised and force the local to compete with people outside. of the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the United States or Canada, local residents have priority over someone from another country for jobs. And if the local is not sufficiently qualified, he / she can still be promoted on a probationary basis and encouraged to pursue the educational opportunities necessary to upgrade, ”Astwood added.

He said the idea that Turkish islanders do not have experience and that they are denied a job is an injustice.

“How will they get the experience if they do not give them a chance in their own country? In some departments, more than 50% of the positions are expatriates, at the end of their mandate, the premises do not evolve. The post is reposted and another What should happen is that for every post that has an expat there should be an Island Turk following that person, so by the time he / she leaves the local will have the experience and skills to do the job, added the Leader of the Opposition.

“We are seeing a disconnected environment that does not fit, even though it appears to be. The labor statistics department says there are a large number of workers who are unemployed, but the government also says it There is a record number of jobs There must be a lag somewhere The rate at which the unemployed are finding jobs is lower than it was before the pandemic, and it now takes a lot longer to hire people. The evidence speaks for itself. As much as ministries and departments say they are looking for a lot of employees, but they may not be looking in the right places, or in the right way, or that they are looking for a lot of people. don’t present the right incentives, or they just aren’t creative enough about how they view applications and the criteria used to determine whether or not a candidate is the right fit.

To make matters worse, both the public service and private companies tend to add job descriptions rather than subtract from them, meaning that the demands of the job have exploded beyond people’s ability to actually fulfill them. “, did he declare.

He said one of the reasons the government has so many vacancies is that there is no succession in place. He said if the law was to be changed to ensure that this was possible, it should be done to ensure that residents were not deprived of their rights.

Astwood said another reason these positions are unfilled is that some salaries are too low and the workload and salaries are not equal.

“The cost of living in ICT is high, and more and more. It’s a fact ! Therefore, people need to be paid well for the work they do. The cost of recruiting someone from abroad is twice as high as doing it locally. Also to attract expats, we are willing to pay them accommodation and other perks, but not the same for a Turkish islander applying locally. We are not looking for our local when we continue to allow this to happen, ”he added.

“I also think that the existing hiring and recruiting systems also do not provide an understanding of what a person might have the potential to do. I will give the example of a former police officer applying for prison officer and immigration officer positions. the police officer would be perfectly capable of doing the technical part of the job, if he did not have the required exam passes, the necessary training in customer service, they could be overlooked, even if they are makes a good fit for the job. ”

“It seems like people are supposed to come to work and have the experience, the skills, everything, but not many people do. It seems the endless quest to make recruiting effective has made it ineffective. Candidates who are perfect for ninety percent of the positions are screened out and are not shortlisted because they are not perfect for the remaining ten percent. We need those positions to be filled and filled now. We do not need to come back here in the next few months with many positions still unfilled and a few million dollars taken from personal emoluments because they have not been spent, due to unfilled positions. Many of our employees are looking for jobs and there are many jobs available, ”added Astwood.

He said the bottleneck that prevents these positions from being filled in a timely manner must be identified and removed immediately. He said although he does not blame the Prime Minister and his cabinet for creating the event, he questioned them if it is not rectified immediately.

“We cannot leave our people where they are, we have to change their reality and give them the jobs they so badly need and deserve, let’s put our people first,” said the Leader of the Opposition .

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