Changes?: Only Bermudians and their spouses can currently be office receptionists but this may be one job in the closed category subject to change. *iStock photo
Changes?: Only Bermudians and their spouses can currently be office receptionists but this may be one job in the closed category subject to change. *iStock photo
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The list of jobs only open to Bermudians or their spouses is being reviewed by Government.

The closed category is being looked at again as the island’s economy continues to be affected by the global recession, according to Kim Wilson, the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.

She told the Bermuda Sun it was too early to say what professions could be opened up to expatriates.

But she said there was a possibility that careers could be added to the closed category.

She added: “We are reviewing the closed category at present due to the changing circumstances of the world economy.

“We are not in a position to say what specific professions will be removed or added to the category yet. It may be that some jobs need to be added to the list.

“It is my responsibility as the Minister to review frequently the job titles defined and revise them as necessary.”

At present the closed category includes airline ground agents, floor supervisors, general labourers, office receptionists, painters, salespeople, taxi drivers and wallpaper technicians.

Earlier this week, Ms Wilson told how there were 10,600 expats in employment on work permits in Bermuda.

She said there were 6,817 active work permits where Government had confirmation that a work permit holder was subject to term limits or where applications had been made for extensions or exemptions.

Ms Wilson added that the process of reviewing work permits and extensions would continue to be done on a case-by-case basis.

She said: “I am keen to ensure that the process of how extensions and waivers are granted and the criteria for granting them is as open and transparent as possible.

“I will be meeting with business leaders regularly to keep them informed of our progress in this area.”

Last weekend, MP Michael Weeks spoke of the “apparent dominance of expatriate workers” as he addressed Bermudian students in London. The Minister without Portfolio said the latest Immigration figures showed that there were 40 pharmacists, 391 nurses, 46 physiotherapists, 1,058 accountants, 231 underwriters and 512 masons in Bermuda on work permits.

He urged the students to return home after gaining their qualifications, adding: “There are jobs that Bermudians can do. There are jobs you can do.

“The challenge is to become qualified in the discipline, be ready to work and this Government will ensure you are suitably employed.”