Skilled Caribbean Nationals Urged To Stay Within The Region

The Deputy Speaker of the Bahamas House of Assembly has urged skilled Caribbean nationals to stay in the region as a means of halting the brain drain.

As reported by Barbados Today, Donald Saunders made the remarks while addressing students, administrators and others at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, Barbados.

According to the publication, he encouraged skilled nationals of the region to stay within the region rather than going to North America and elsewhere to earn a living.

He cited the number of nurses leaving The Bahamas for more profitable endeavors and warned of the impact of such losses.

“If you’re going to move from Barbados, move to Trinidad. If you’re going to move from Trinidad, move to The Bahamas. If you’re going to move from St Lucia, move to Grenada. Let’s keep this UWI educational experience in the Caribbean,” The Bahamian official was quoted as saying.

Recent research has found that in the Caribbean, the percent of tertiary educated persons that emigrate ranks among the highest in the world.

One area in Saint Lucia where the brain drain is a cause for concern is nursing.

Earlier this year, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Felix St Hill, disclosed that up to two nurses on average are quitting Saint Lucia’s health service every week.

And he said it was affecting primary and secondary health care.

“The fact is that in the past we used to get one or two nurses per month, but now it is almost like one or two nurses per week,” St Hill told St Lucia Times.


  1. No one is against themself…if nurses, teachers, masons…whatever the profession are under paid…whats the point in sticking around. Smh

    What incentives are there to keep …the “skilled workers”

    • The incentive is serving your own people in the best way you know how to. If you regard your profession as simply one for monetary gains then you can be bought and sold at the expense of your own. I agree. Caribbean nationals should stay within the region because their skills are needed here.

      • When they do stay they are not regarded for top jobs withing their profession no matter how skilled they are. Its always a foreigner theu bringing in as consultants and pay them big money. New want to paybtheir iwn the correct salaries.

      • LMAO! trying to invoke National Pride? seriously ? Why are all they lead positions given to foreigners. Who are paid in US dollars(sometimes tax free) and get several expense allowances while experienced local are underpaid and most times do the majority of the work. Our leaders do not appreciate their local talent, an example is paying a company 13 million dollars to increase the country’s competitiveness. And said company just gets the ideas from the govt technocrats and makes a nice power-point presentation and makes obvious suggestions. Why could the govt technocrats do something by themselves saving the country millions of dollars? So i don’t blame an experienced professional who has taken the opportunity to leave for their benefit. When our Leaders serve our people and country we will return that treatment

  2. Any qualified nurse is going to earn US 3.000 plus a house,plus a loan for purchasing a vehicle,fuel for the car,and a bunch of perks.Can we offer these things here in St Lucia? Lets get real please.We all work for money and the more the better,we are mercenaries of those green bills,and we love them.F the world,we after the Washington papper.Life is to short,cant wait for miracles to happen

  3. Tomorrow they have to re build the Bahamas,how much they going to pay the workers.Hope he could save his bed?

    • Poor statement ,be more sensitve to the impact of the storm,it is a very dangerous storm and the regoin is very vulnerable .let us pray for the islands.

  4. Every where in the world you get credit for knowing the environment and the people you are required to work with/. In the Caribbean this counts for nothing. It is interesting as they provide special incentives for persons from the diaspora whilst you who have stayed behind to develop your country is overlooked. I agree with the statement but it cannot be at our expense all the time

  5. If the Government is paying to educate these nurses and teachers then bond them. If they are not, the people are free to ply their trade where they earn the most. Say I go earn a degree. I develop the same skills as my international counterpart. I pay twice as much as the residents do to earn that degree. How can I afford to repay the student loan I have on the pittance I will receive here? And my classmates overseas will be making three times the amount. You people must be delusional.

    Unless you have some political connection there is no chance of you advancing no matter how hard working and talented you are. Yet people whose abilities are questionable routinely make it to the top. Until we eliminate these levels of corruption no way will this region go anywhere. Arthur Lewis did it overseas. So did Derek Walcott. For those who studied overseas, don’t go back to St. Lucia as long as you have opportunities elsewhere. DON’T.

    • True words spoken my dear. They will always end up with the egotistical, the delusion crazies and the illiterates in top positions, because they dont value talent and skills, but rather seek to debase it. This is why we can never move forward in the Caribbean, especially in Lucia all we do is eat our own. I for one aint planning on a return when I leave. I see too much BS.

  6. Why? So we can see unskilled and uneducated politicians get rich quick and get big salaries for doing nothing while we get peanuts? No way

  7. Sir, while I welcome your call for skilled persons to stay within the Caribbean, the reality is, Globalisation is a churning conveyor belt that can’t be stopped and the man/woman will sell their skills to the highest bidder. This is the nature of the World we live in today…To stem the flow of skilled worked leaving the Caribbean, Countries must make it even more attractive for persons to stay within the Caribbean. A task which is not impossible but extremely difficult.

  8. Where is the button to dislike this article? You can’t ask me to stay for nothing! Put value in what is being offered to young professionals who risked their parents property in a Student loan to seek higher education and return to St. Lucia. St. Lucia has no minimum wage, it’s bare offer and acceptance and we’re forced to accept a low salary when loan shark banks (namely sldb) start calling / harassing and adding daily arrears on a poor student who just came down in the process of looking for a job. And businesses have their part of blame because I swear they pride themselves in being able to capture a fresh, edger mind at the lowest rate. Stay in the Caribbean? For what? Getting a job in North America, they wouldn’t dare offer you a salary figure below a certain amount when you present your degree. You can’t simply ask people to stay in the region. Money doesn’t own me, but guess what? Neither does the region!

  9. Actually this article needs to go viral to the point where it becomes a national then regional debate. Folks the reality is the tertiary educated and skilled are in the minority and a threat to those who aren’t. Why That opinion? Try getting a job after returning to St. Lucia with a U. K. Or US or Canadian degree. You could throw all that current knowlwdge and skill set out the door upon entering some organizations. Sometimes I look back and think that maybe I should have just started work on a cruise ship Or even those Canadian farms & forget about the degree because these places pay in US or Canadian dollars and have a minimum wage.

  10. Every morning I wake up put on my chains and go out to work,nothing has changed really Im still a slave of corporate St Lucia

  11. As someone has already said this really needs to be part of a national and above all a regional conversation. And the spotlight has to be kept on this issue. This is too important for the future of the region to ignore. It deserves serious study and attention. If a country loses half of its skilled population per year, in the long run there is not much left, only the dregs of society that will flourish in the region. And perhaps we are already seeing this with the rise in crime. Those whose mothers and lack of fathers never raised them right is ruining the societies. The region is a place with the highest level of skilled migration in the world. This should be deeply concerning for any leadership with sense. But as others have said, there is the root cause for migration; too many unprofessional and ill-educated people who think they are educated with the wrong attitudes in high position. If they don’t deal with this mess, this place will become even more ungovernable in the coming years with the rise in crime and kids making kids, they cant properly care for and have nothing themselves.

  12. Stay within a region where the politics and favoritism stifle professional growth and development of the same individuals that voted for them and work hard to pay off huge student loans? The Caribbean countries, especially those which are independent nations, mostly are subtly governed by figures who run the politicians and things behind the scenes and focus on their personal gain and benefits. Nonetheless, though we all work for the financial gain to provide for ourselves and families, we can’t negate the fact that it is important that we do what we can for our country, our home, our place of whilst at the same time taking care of ourselves. But in the end, truly, believe me, patriotism is long gone and just like diplomacy, patriotism is DEAD!!!

  13. Mr.St.Hill told us all of us can leave, because he has Cuban nurses to replace us. Now he talking, tell him go to hell, we going overseas to make the dollar. No appreciation for us. You never miss the water till the well run dry. Run nurses run

  14. The region don’t even trust their own with big time consultancy. Look and you will see where the consultants are from. So the Dr. Himself need to first speak with his comrades before he can “encourage” people to stay in the region.

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