This season of graduations represents a period of optimism and hope for so many of Bermuda’s young people. 

Throughout the island, we are hearing the positive stories of our young people who are thriving in our schools and of those who have completed their education and are returning home to make their mark on Bermuda.

To the young Bermudians who have successfully completed their current educational level, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations and encourage you to be a “life learner” — someone who is constantly seeking greater knowledge to improve yourselves, converting that knowledge into wisdom and using both to improve your lives and the lives of those around you.

To our university graduates, you are entering perhaps one of the greatest periods of economic and career uncertainty in our history.

You will have to work harder, sacrifice more and dig deeper into your reserves of creativity, diligence and patience to make your way in this new Bermudian and global economy.

Yet, do not be discouraged. As Bermudians, we have displayed an innate ability to adapt and patiently create opportunities for ourselves. We have done it before and we can do it again.

It is the PLP’s position that Bermuda must work for Bermudians. That’s why we are constantly pushing solutions to spur job creation, improve our schools, expand training opportunities and build a Bermuda that places Bermudians first in jobs, entrepreneurship and opportunities. 

We have an obligation not only to open the doors for Bermudians in terms of world-class education but also to keep those doors open through policies that prevent, expose and eradicate anti-Bermudian hiring practices, expand access to capital and cut through the red tape that impedes Bermudians from starting their own businesses.

This vision is spurred by the anguish of parents who have sacrificed much to educate their children only to hear that they are “overqualified” or “underqualified” when seeking opportunities to use their education in our own country.

This vision is driven by the frustration of our young people who, despite their educational and personal accolades, continue to be forced to train others with less education and ability to one day become their boss.

This vision is a response to the cries of Bermudians who believe that Bermuda never has and never will work for them. 

Our vision is a Bermuda that works for Bermudians. Together, let us make that vision a reality. 

Marc Bean is Leader of the Opposition