Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith disclosed that BVI students studying overseas are interested in returning to work in the Territory’s financial services industry.
Premier Smith said that he learnt of the interest in the industry during his discussions with a large group of BVI students in London during his recent UK visit. In fact, the BVI Leader stated that he found the discussion with the students very enlightening.
The opportunity to discourse with the Minister was reportedly welcomed by the BVI students in the U.K.: “The students were well prepared with questions ranging from job opportunities upon their return in general, but especially in the Financial Services Sector. The students had much to share about the sector and the possible implementation of a formal program where young BV Islanders returning from school could excel to very senior positions by shadowing expatriates working for companies here,” Premier Smith stated.
“Overall, I must say I was proud to hear them speak so passionately about their return home and I am certain that they will contribute greatly to the continued development of our British Virgin Islands,” Hon. Smith announced.
The expressed interest by the youth falls into an area of the BVI Forward initiative which promotes cultivating BV Islanders interest in the financial industry. In fact, Head of that area, Mrs. Lorna Smith said: “We will invest to build BV Islander financial services talent and create opportunities for BV Islanders to enter, contribute and participate more meaningfully in the industry.”
Mrs. Smith also mentioned that interventions are being considered across educational institutions to help BV Islanders develop the necessary skills to fill target jobs. For example, the structure and resourcing of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) is being reviewed, and its curriculum revamped with input from the private sector to better tailor courses to employers’ hiring needs.