Now departing: Bermuda’s youth

If opportunity leaves our island, our most capable youth will follow.

New Onion has a very important post describing that if jobs leave the island, there is a high likelihood that the best and brightest of Bermuda’s youth will go with them. 

New Onion is 100% correct that there are young Bermudians who are considering leaving the island. The reality is that Bermuda is becoming less and less of an attractive place to be and it is relatively easy for young Bermudians to pick up and leave because we have very little invested here.

Jobs are slowly being migrated off island.  Not executive level jobs but the entry and mid level jobs Bermudians rely on.  These are the very jobs that people like “young Johnny” are hoping to apply for that will slowly disappear and give young Johnny less reason to return home after school.

Even if departments are only downgraded in size, less people means less opportunities for advancement.  It means less exposure to the experience needed to reach for those management and executive positions.  The irony is that the very things our government hopes to achieve with their policies are going to the things most likely to be destroyed.

As New Onion correctly points out “If you’re good enough at your job to be a standout in Bermuda then in most cases you’re good enough to be solid anywhere.”  Our youth have options and there is a big world out there with a great deal to offer.

Why should our best and brightest young Bermudians stay? 

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15 thoughts on “Now departing: Bermuda’s youth

  1. Let’s not forget the importance of having an EEC passport in this equation. It certainly makes relocating to England and Europe a real possibility.

  2. i think u have it all wrong dp – if the best and brightest that bdas has to offer is going to flee because the reinsurance!? sector leaves then our best and brightest are not that bright – bda has been duped into thinking that the little sliver of ib that bda has is somehow the be all and end all – not to belittle it but i assume reinsurance is a very boring and unfulfilling career.
    also this idea of the eec passports being a draw to young bdans again is only taking into consideration a small segment of bdas population – i’ve lived in the UK and i’ve lived in the US and i can tell u that the oppurtunities as a blk professional are far more abundant in the Us then in europe –
    lastly – we live in the desktop age – desktop finance, publishing etc. — if we really wanted to spark the minds of blk youth in bda we would show them that in this day and age that technology has shrunk the world to the point that no matter where you live – if u can build a better mousetrap u can take it to market.
    with bdas financial infrastructure and geographical proximity to the US bdas youth should be encouraged to develop ideas outside of IB – in the US, bright kids are building mini industries from scratch in business, computing and media – i believe that neccesity is the mother of invention and if god forbid that a segment of ib leaves bda then maybe it’s for the best in the longterm – it will help create a bdan mindset that is self reliant which is something that is ultimately holding the youth back from their true potential.
    i mean is it me or is it kinda bkwrd that in a world were people are struggling to build their own identity (quebec, the ukraine, hong kong etc) that bda is shaking in its boots in fear about being independent?!
    someone asked chris rock what doi blsk think about welfare cuts – he replied – blk people don’t give a fu*k about welfare – ni**ers are shaking in their boots but blk people don’t give a fuck.
    why r many bdans still shaking in their boots?

  3. Thanks for reading Denis,
    It’s not just England or Europe.
    What I was really talking about is the fact that when businesses leave they will probably take their Bermudians who are objectively good with them – and leave behind those who don’t measure up.
    It’s just another reason why we should be very careful which businesses we let into Bermuda – which is to say those who will provide lots of income and a stable foundation for long-term growth. Soft close of sorts.

  4. Vanz,
    “i think u have it all wrong dp – if the best and brightest that bdas has to offer is going to flee because the reinsurance!? sector leaves then our best and brightest are not that bright – bda has been duped into thinking that the little sliver of ib that bda has is somehow the be all and end all – not to belittle it but i assume reinsurance is a very boring and unfulfilling career.”
    I disagree. We have two core industries that bring in foreign dollars: tourism and international business (which isn’t just reinsurance). Since we are not even close to being able to sustain ourselves without foreign money, we maintain a symbiotic relationship with these two industries. The bulk of jobs come from, international business, construction and government. Without international business, construction would be a small industry. Without the jobs of international business, government would not collect enough taxes (primarily through payroll) to pay people and there would also not be a need for as many people in government. IB is hardly a sliver, it’s the majority of the pie. Also, having personally done work for reinsurance firms, I can tell you that I did not find it a boring and unfulfilling career.
    “also this idea of the eec passports being a draw to young bdans again is only taking into consideration a small segment of bdas population – i’ve lived in the UK and i’ve lived in the US and i can tell u that the oppurtunities as a blk professional are far more abundant in the Us then in europe -”
    Our EU passports entitle us the freedom to live, work, travel and even collect welfare throughout Europe and yet we pay nothing for that priveledge. As I’ve written about bofore, it is the ultimate insurance plan for Bermudians. There is nothing I have ever heard of independence that outweighs the benefits of every single Bermudian having an out should they ever need it.
    “lastly – we live in the desktop age – desktop finance, publishing etc. — if we really wanted to spark the minds of blk youth in bda we would show them that in this day and age that technology has shrunk the world to the point that no matter where you live – if u can build a better mousetrap u can take it to market.”
    I’ve grown up in this age and know it better than most. Globalization is bringing greater competition and Bermuda needs to step up it’s game to compete with the rest of the world. When internet costs a fortune and technology is limited to the upper classes, the likelihood of a Whateverlife style situation (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/118/girl-power.html) happening here is incredibly remote.
    “i believe that neccesity is the mother of invention and if god forbid that a segment of ib leaves bda then maybe it’s for the best in the longterm – it will help create a bdan mindset that is self reliant which is something that is ultimately holding the youth back from their true potential.”
    Or it will send us into anarchy. We are not self sustaining. We import the vaste majority of everything we consume and rely heavily on foreign money to keep us afloat. I truly hope I never see the day that international business pulls out.
    “i mean is it me or is it kinda bkwrd that in a world were people are struggling to build their own identity (quebec, the ukraine, hong kong etc) that bda is shaking in its boots in fear about being independent?!”
    What are the benefits? I have yet to hear one convincing reason why being independent would benefit us. We are far too small to be independent. We need foreign checks and balances to ensure that we don’t dive deeply into corruption. If government (Premier Brown especially) really is so gung-ho about independence, why take the BHC gag order to the privy council? Why were the decisions made by our judicial system not good enough?

  5. “As I’ve written about bofore, it is the ultimate insurance plan for Bermudians.” this attitude is what holds bdans back. i know 20 year olds in south africa who despite the obvious obstacles there are making a go of it in a variety of fields because they have balls – and re; “I’ve grown up in this age and know it better than most.” we could go back and forth with examples of what is and what isn’t possible – i’m talking about a mindset – a mindset comes b4 a skill set – at the risk of sounding new agey – but unless the mindset is changed bdans no matter how smart will simply be high priced worker bees helping other peoples/counties “dreams” come true.

  6. Vanz,
    How is an attitude of wanting to keep EU status holding Bermudians back?
    If anything, it means you can freely sell your ideas throughout Europe without restriction. To me, thats a huge benefit and means that Bermudians can leverage to become successful.
    As for mindset, it can be changed through positive role models, solid education, good support and opportunity.
    I’m still waiting on the convincing arguements of how independence would tangibly benefit us.

  7. dennis – i’m sorry u misunderstood my argument – my main point was not to argue the independence issue – if in the 21st century we have to even argue that issue – i guess i just don’t get it – i live in a country where the next province over has been trying to separate from canada for 3 decades i don’t agree with it but i get it – but as far as bdas independence issue – i just don’t get it – it’s just a personal preference – having traveled fairly extensively in europe (and lived in the UK for a short period) and north america – give me north america any day – europe holds no appeal for me so the whole eu thing escapes me. but more power to u.

  8. Vanz,
    Ah. Let me approach it from a different tack then.
    How are you able to live in Canada?
    My understanding of Canadian and American immigration is that you need to be a qualified skilled worker in demand in order to attain a visa. This makes it harder for Bermudians to simply go and work there.
    However, with regards to the EU, there are no restrictions for Bermudians. We can hop on a plane tomorrow and take a job the same day anywhere in the EU.
    Thats an option every Bermudian has. No visas, no work permits, no hassles. We’re on equal footing with every EU citizen whether you’re a highly skilled worker or someone just entering the employment pool.
    We simply don’t have the same opportunity with Can/US. If you’re lucky enough to have the choice of choosing Canada and being accepted, great. But if you’re not, at least you’ve still got options. Thats why I defend it.

  9. “…bda has been duped into thinking that the little sliver of ib that bda has is somehow the be all and end all – not to belittle it but i assume reinsurance is a very boring and unfulfilling career.”
    I think this is typical of how ignorant some people are about what IB is and can be to Bermuda. It is short sighted and shows a lack of knowledge of Economics. As Denis and others have made clear, IB directly covers a lot more than just Reinsurance, but indirectly branches out into virtually every facet of the Islands economy… yes, even Tourism.
    “i mean is it me or is it kinda bkwrd that in a world were people are struggling to build their own identity (quebec, the ukraine, hong kong etc) that bda is shaking in its boots in fear about being independent?!”
    ITS YOU! I am sure I speak for many Bermudians that LIVE here… I don’t see too many people “shaking in their boots” at all. I see people unsure as to why we would want to go independent as there has yet been any reasonable arguement against remaining a colony.

  10. What I was really talking about is that by creating unease we are churning our businesses, who leave and take their best employees.
    A better alternative is to be picky about who/what is allowed into the island so that only those able to pay really silly amounts of money have any viable chance of doing business here. To do that we need to be a really fantastic place to do business.

  11. u r right slowhand – good luck on everything
    … which is code for …
    I’m not able to reasonably and rationally engage in further discussion regarding this matter so will instead resort to childish behaviour. Nice one.

  12. 32n64w,
    Could you stick to making a point that doesn’t involve attacking the character of others?
    If Vanz doesn’t have anything further to add to the discussion, allow him to leave it at that.

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