Premier Paula Cox, pictured, and Patrice Minors, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry held a press conference today to reiterate the commitment to international business and show their appreciation to five companies who are &lsquo;job makers&rsquo;. <em>*File photo</em>
Premier Paula Cox, pictured, and Patrice Minors, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry held a press conference today to reiterate the commitment to international business and show their appreciation to five companies who are ‘job makers’. *File photo

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23: Work permits are being fast tracked for those companies committed to employing Bermudians.

Premier Paula Cox and Patrice Minors, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry held a press conference today to reiterate the commitment to international business and show their appreciation to five companies who are ‘job makers’.

Ms Cox said a letter was sent to CEOs of companies who are committed to Bermuda outlining the Incentives for Job Makers Act 2011, which came into effect January 1.

“Minister Minors and I have made the decision to provide expedited work permit processing to those companies that have been provided the "gold seal" of Job Maker status to recognise that they have proven their commitment to Bermuda and Bermudians.

“There have been a number of companies that have stated publicly that they are committed to Bermuda and keeping Bermudians employed and are consistently publicly defending Bermuda, including Lord Dupplin of Hiscox, David Cash of Endurance, Don Kramer of ILS Capital Management, Edward Stanley of Bacardi International, Tom Hulse of Ariel Re amongst many others.”

She continued: “There have been five applications for concessions and exemptions under the Incentives for Job Makers Act and tremendous interest expressed by other companies.

“As a result of reviewing applications, I have been able to exercise tremendous flexibility in granting concessions and exemptions to those key staff that are responsible for keeping business in Bermuda and Bermudians employed.”

Ms Minors added: “I am ecstatic at the number of companies that have met with me to state their commitment to keep Bermudians employed.

“In particular, there have been companies that are looking to increase their presence in Bermuda by hiring more staff both Bermudian and key non-Bermudian staff.

“As a result of their commitment to Bermuda and Bermudians, I have fast-tracked their requests.

“One company even informed me that they were considering leaving Bermuda and are now changing their mind and increasing their presence.

“I am continuing to meet with the stakeholder groups and will continue to be open to their suggestions provided that those suggestions are linked to getting and keeping Bermudians employed.”

Ms Minors said she is continuing to meet with staff to clarify policy and procedural issues.

“As stated previously, we will continue the dialogue with the business community.

“The priority that is first and foremost for this Government is the full employment of Bermudians.”