The hiring methods for boat crew—a huge industry in the BVI—works differently because crewmembers from other countries are often passing through the BVI on deliveries or for regattas, so while they may not be here actively seeking employment, they often meet potential employers on the sailing circuit.
“I find it hard for owners to interview or hire over the phone,” said Dick Schoonover from CharterPortBVI, “so being here (or in the right place at the right time) seems to be very important.” He also added, “word of mouth is a big factor,” especially in the BVI where the “coconut telegraph kicks in,” he said, resulting in “available crews finding their way to the correct dock.” When finding the perfect yacht to work for, getting to know the departing crew can help in securing a position because, said Dick, “the departing crew will make a recommendation to their owner.” It’s also a great way to ascertain whether you’d be a good fit with the owners of the boat.
Try these useful avenues to break into the job market
• The BVI Beacon – Classifieds are displayed in the weekly (Thursday) newspaper. Note: many large/professional firms don’t use the classified section to advertise and instead run quarter- or half-page adverts which do not go online with the classifieds. Potential overseas job seekers often miss jobs because they do not have access to the hard newspapers.
• Online News Site – Check into www.bvinews.com for classified sections there. A long list of job listings date back a couple years, so you might have to check to see which ones are current.
• www.bviemployment.com or the Ballast & Capel Jobs website, ranks number one as a BVI online recruitment site. Register as a job seeker to receive email alerts when suitable vacancies become available. All vacancies are current and live, and are also showcased on www.bviplatinum.com and this website.
• Facebook & Networking – Probably the most active place for community-based groups here, Facebook groups such as BVI Community Board, BVI Crew File , BVI Job/Employment Search and individual company pages offer a great interactive forum for potential employees and their employers.
Business-oriented social networking websites such as Linked-In are also a great way to browse and contact companies in your field.
How Not to Get a Job
You will not be eligible for a work permit on your initial application or for renewal if you are found to have the following:
• Police record or conviction
• Deportation from the BVI or another country
• Interest in part-time work only. Residency status requires two part-time or one full-time permit
• Applying for a dependent visa then automatically applying for a work permit
• Obvious immigration extensions that indicate you were seeking employment while on a tourist or other visa. It is illegal to actively seek work whilst on a tourist visa. All permits are on a probationary period. If you quit or are lobbying for another permit within that period, expect a rejection from the government.