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Commentary: Personal responsibility and work ethic in Bermuda
Published on March 4, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Marc A. R. Bean MP

Good day to our Caribbean neighbours.

We wish to thank you all for your support over the last few weeks; we appreciate all of the advice given in one form or the other. We operate best when pertinent matters are brought to our attention. We are here to serve and we do not take this task lightly.

Open borders

A former minister of environment, planning and infrastructure strategy, Marc Bean is the leader of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and is the Member of Parliament for the Warwick South Central constituency
We are facing the reality of living in a globalized economy, which looks set to be further impacted by the goals of the OBA government. It seems the present powers that be wish to allow liberalized immigration policies and abolishment of the 60/40 rule.

The end result may very well be that Bermudians will be competing with ever increasing amounts of non- Bermudians in the workplace, and well financed non-Bermudian business entities.

Straight talk

We have committed ourselves to address Bermudians concerns in a balanced and non-biased manner. Today we would like to address a very pertinent issue that is a daily source of major discontent in our island.

Daily we see and hear remarks in the print, online and radio media that Bermudians just are not good enough to be hired. Or that Bermudians are not educated enough to get certain positions once hired. We wholeheartedly disagree with this notion, and will defend the integrity of Bermudian employees.

At the same time we wish to speak to the issue of those who chose to have work ethics that are in need of improvement. There are some who do choose to engage in some habits that are counterproductive to the building of a strong Bermudian workforce.

Whether it be:

• Frequently calling in sick
• Spending too much time on cell phones
• Not taking courses to improve skill sets
• Improper customer skills

Any one, or a combination of these, presents challenges for the employer, the employee and subsequently the business entity itself.

Personal motivation

Let us be as real as possible, under the present OBA government, many Bermudian civil servants are now under direct threat of losing their government jobs. They will be faced with the following options:

• Seeking work in the private sector
• Being unemployed
• Starting their own businesses

In any of the above scenarios, the individuals will have to demonstrate that they can and will uphold the highest work ethic in order to gain employment or to start their own businesses, build and maintain a loyal customer base.

So to this end it comes down to personal motivation, and responsibility in order to be able to successfully compete in what will be a highly competitive job and business market.

Skill Sets

When employers seek to justify importing labour, they often cite that Bermudians chose not to go the extra mile, or do not seek to further their skill sets. Bermudians must beat them to the punch, and eliminate their ability to use these as excuses.

This is the time we must seize every opportunity to improve our skill sets in which ever field we find ourselves in. When need be, we must also be prepared to retool and learn about industries and or professions that may be new to us individually or collectively.

We are a party, and a people that hold human compassion as the highest tenant. Yet we will be doing our country a major disservice by not taking a firm stand on certain issues. It is easy for us to say, “Okay, just vote for us and all will be fine.” We chose not to take this path.

We would not be serving Bermudians’ best interest by not being crystal clear about the imminent challenges we face as individuals and as a community. Let us not cower about that may come, but stay ahead of the curve by growing in a pro-active manner.

We thank you for taking the time to read this and, as always, look forward to your feedback.
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