NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The highest paying jobs in the financial services sector are held by non-Bahamians, according Labour Minster Dion Foulkes.
Speaking in the Senate last Thursday, Foulkes said he is concerned with the high level of untrained, unqualified Bahamians.
“For example, accountants, we also have a shortage in the Bahamas of wealth managers and specialized personnel in the private banking industry,” Foulkes explained.
“There are far too many applications for labour certificates, especially for private banking in specialized areas, that come before the labour department and come before me.”
Foulkes said he has been in discussion with Association of International Bank and Trust Companies (AIBT), the Clearing Banks Association and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB)to get a better understanding of why Bahamians are not getting the high paying jobs.
“One of the main concerns that we have in the Ministry of Labour is that most of the highest paying jobs in the private banking sector are paid to non-Bahamians. At the clerical level, at the human resource level, it is practically 100 per cent Bahamian”, he said.
“But when you go to $150,00, $200,000, $250,000 in terms of annual salary, when you deal with wealth managers, you would find that area is predominantly occupied by non-Bahamians.”
According to Foulkes, however, the government is working on ways to resolve the issue.
“It could be something wherein the Primary School, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions, maybe it is something we are not doing,” he said.
“We are very pleased that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet has appointed a Skills Training Committee to look into problems like this so we can devise methods to address this problem.”
Foulkes noted that the committee has already reported some findings and a report will be presented to Cabinet “very soon”.