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Employment Services launches job registration drive campaign, 18 events across TCI



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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Tuesday June 26, 2018 – Eighteen Summer Registration Drives will be staged throughout the Turks and Caicos in an effort to capture a truer understanding of who is either unemployed or underemployed according to the Employment Services Department and Minister responsible for Employment.

The team, led by Deputy Premier, Sean Astwood today announced that efforts began in Grand Turk at Three Degrees since 9 a.m. and will continue until the end of August 2018.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Employment, Hon Sean Astwood at the press conference held this morning said the Summer Registration Drive is not about people being employed for the Summer, but rather a campaign promise and commitment to seek out individuals who are not working or are looking to have better, more stable jobs.  The Deputy Premier said the launch during Summertime is aimed at getting high school and returning university graduates into their system.

“So it is permanent employment that we are seeking for you and we are trying to get as many persons in the country as possible who are interested in finding jobs, who is actively seeking a job that we have that information that can allow us to make that connection with potential employers who are looking for persons.  It allows companies to get the necessary workforce that they need.”

There are currently 105 people on the unemployment register of the Turks and Caicos, of which 25% are individuals who work from time to time, according to Labour Commissioner, Edwin Taylor.  

“The real, genuine unemployment number is consistently appearing to us, over these last few months as we dig deep into the numbers, to be really a lot lower than what has always been floated.”

While an accurate unemployment rate for the Turks and Caicos continues to be elusive, Mr. Taylor explained that the Summer Registration Drive will assist in getting the statistics right.

“Part of our efforts this year in doing the registration drive is to come up with an accurate figure. We have seen the statistics come out from the National Skills Audit but it encompassed people who were not legal in the country…”  Mr. Taylor added, “It’s our estimation that we are somewhere around below three per cent, even below two per cent (unemployment rate) because if we look at our current registration we are under 120 (people), so if you have 105 persons unemployed based on our statistics, that is a very low figure… that would rate far below anywhere in the world what we have here in the Turks and Caicos; but it just to justify those numbers to make sure they are an accurate number and so this will give us the opportunity to ensure that happens.”

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Alpheus Smith said the overarching goal is to get every Turks and Caicos Islander employed; and shared that often the problem lies with islanders who shy away from competing for jobs and often do not show up for interviews arranged for them by Employment Services.

“When we set up the interviews, we would like to encourage them to show up to the interviews.  History shows that if ten persons were listed for an interview, sometimes only three show up.  Then the same persons who didn’t show up for the interview they two weeks later show up at our office, still looking for a job.  These are some of the challenges we are faced with…”

By Thursday, the Employment Services Department team will move into South Caicos for the Drive there set for the District Commissioner’s Office, beginning at 9 a.m.

The Summer Registration Drive is also in anticipation of the job boom expected for the island of Providenciales in particular; the Minister said the count on how many jobs are coming is a work in progress.

“Actually we are compiling that information because we have requested from the different Developers who are well into the process of their development –  that is they have already gotten Development Agreements and already broken ground –  to get for us their business staffing plan that will allow us to know exactly the number.  Now, we have already gotten some of that information but we are compiling it and soon we will get that information out the public.”

There are a few more initiatives being devised and prepared to be tabled in Cabinet from the Employment Services Department, which will include two Public Private Partnership agreements involving the Young Corporate Alliance and the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.

The Ministry of Education was also named as a partner in developing a new policy to ensure Turks and Caicos Islands graduates are ideally absorbed into the job market.

The Summer Registration Drive press conference was held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales.


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Following Court ruling, US Embassy Doubles Down on Warning: DO NOT TRAVEL TO TCI WITH GUNS, AMMO



By Deandrea Hamilton


Dozens of news reports are all over TV and the internet, scarring the Turks and Caicos’ reputation yet again. This time linked to what Americans view as the preposterous law, which would, without chance for legal argument, throw a tourist into prison for 12 years.  It is a mandatory conviction law on the books for possession of unlicensed guns or ammunition, and which just heard from the Court of Appeal that there ought to be no exceptions, whether it is one bullet or one gun, whether it is a tourist or a woman.

But what policymakers in various submissions in the House of Assembly back in October thought would return a win or opportunity for leniency to be injected as part of a legal defense has backfired.  Now, unequivocally, the high court has ruled that the law gives no leeway.  Anyone found with an unlicensed gun or ammunition must face what the law says is the penalty: not a fine, no reduced prison time, no exoneration, but 12 years mandatory in His Majesty’s Prison.

Now the US Embassy is doubling down on its message to travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Do not travel with your legal gun and ammunition from the US to the islands. Do not, because in the islands, your right to carry arms is not automatic, and if you are caught, you will face severe punishment, and there is nothing the US government can do about it.  There are several tourists charged and awaiting a ruling in their cases.  There is also a Grand Turk businesswoman who was arrested for a single bullet in her luggage.  While all of these matters are shocking and drawing public calls for leniency, as far as the law goes, everyone charged under it is headed to prison for 12 years.

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“Mad Max” Convicted of Murder





#TurksandCaicos, April 23, 2024 – Blue Hills resident KENDALL RONDRE DEAN has been convicted of murdering JOSHUA SWANN.

Mr. Dean, also called “Maddie”, “Mad Max”, and “Dre”, was found guilty by a nine-member jury yesterday (April 22nd) in the Grand Turk Supreme Court.

Following the verdict, Mr. Dean was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison, pending sentencing on 10th June 2024.

Based on the evidence presented, Mr. SWANN of Five Cays was shot multiple times about the body on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, while at North West Point, Providenciales.

Mr. Swann was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives of the Serious Crimes Unit received a report, and following intensive investigations and interviews, Mr. Dean was arrested and subsequently charged.

Shortly after the verdict, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams said, “This conviction demonstrates the RTCIPF’s commitment to bringing to justice those who cause the most harm throughout our communities using illegal firearms.

“This is an example of the effective coordination of the various units across the Force in supporting the lead detective in bringing about this conviction. The RTCIPF is grateful for the information provided by witnesses who came forward.

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TCI News




Her Excellency the Governor is pleased to announce that following an expressions of interest process, and in accordance with Section 5 of the Financial Services Commission Ordinance  2007, Mr Dimaggio Rigby, Mr Geoff Scott and Mr Dennis Swann, have been appointed to  serve as Commissioners on the Financial Services Commission Board of directors.  

Mr Rigby brings specialist experience in cyber, media, and technology risks. He is currently  employed in the City of London as a Cyber Insurance Market Consultant. 

Mr Scott is a financial services professional with over 30 years’ successful track record in  banking. He currently leads the Bermuda Bankers Association and was, until August 2022,  the Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Cooperation of Barbados Limited (ICBL). 

Mr Swann is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. He has expertise in Human  Resources and worked for the Bank of Nova Scotia for 12 years. He has previously worked  within the TCI FSC. 

Commenting on the appointments, the Governor said: 

“Following consultation with the Hon. Premier (in his capacity as the Minister of Finance)  and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, I have appointed Mr Dennis Swann, Mr Dimaggio  Rigby and Mr Geoff Scott respectively, to serve as Commissioners (non-executive  directors) on the Board of the Turks and Caicos Islands Financial Services Commission  (FSC). I am confident that the combined experience of these three new Commissioners  will help ensure the FSC delivers our vision for a technologically advanced financial  services sector that is competitive and supports growth, is well regulated while agile and  internationally respected.  

I would like to thank Mr Keno Forbes for his previous service as a Commissioner.”

The appointments are for a three-year period, beginning in April 2024. Further details on the  work of the Financial Services Commission can be found at TCIFSC.

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