Unemployed Young Bahamian questions Atlantis decision to fill positions with foreign nationals


April 24, 2013

The Hon. Fred Mitchell
Minister of Immigration & Foreign Affairs
Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas

Dear Sir,

I wish to write this letter with reference to an article appearing in the Tribune concerning Atlantis Resort & Casino inability to fill over 250 vacant positions. Honorable Minister it is disheartening to realize that in 2013 Bahamians are discriminated against for employment in the Bahamas. I am currently unemployed and have applied to this company for various vacant positions and have never received more than a computer generated response to my applications. I am well qualified for many of the positions advertised possessing a Bachelors degree in both Marketing and Finance and a Masters in Business Administration as well. Additionally, I have international experience having worked in the United States for over 10 years. It concerns me that people who want to work, qualified and possess a clean criminal record are denied employment for vacant jobs. I know I am not alone in this. Is this an issue that can be addressed in a national forum? Are these organizations that continue to boost of the economic benefit it provides to our small island nation truly what the portray themselves to be?

Honorable Minister I commend you on your recent initiatives and eagerly await continued initiatives in the quest for true Bahamianization of the workforce.

With Regards,

Alfred R. Spence
Apt. #2 East St. South
242-601-3932/423-2073 (cell)

OBJECTIVE: To contribute to an organization that strives for excellence in customer service and client relationships.


Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah 01/2008-01/2009
Masters of Business Administration, with Management & Strategy emphasis.

University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida 08/2001-4/2003
Bachelor of Science in Finance, with a concentration in Financial Management.

Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland 08/1995-5/1999
Bachelor of Science in Marketing, with a concentration in consumer behavior and professional sales and marketing campaigns.


BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd. July 2011-Sep 2012
Independence Drive
Accounts Administrator-Accounting Department
Responsible for preparing and maintaining financial statements, financial reporting to external agencies, budgeting, bank reconciliation for the following BAF entities: Bramer General Insurance Brokers Ltd., BAF General Insurance Turks and Caicos, Navy Lion Investment Ltd. and the reconciling cashier’s end-of-day tills for Cash-N-Go stores and BAF Financial offices. Also lead the team for yearly property appraisals for all BAF properties. Managed all bank accounts related to these entities. Liaise with all external Insurance carriers and managers of Turks and Caicos and Nassau Branches.
Fidelity Bank Bahamas Ltd. Nov 2010- July 2011
Robin Hood Branch
Customer Service Representative
Responsible for the maintenance of all client accounts and the facilitation
of Western Union money transfers. Also performed routine teller transactions for Fidelity Bank.

Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Headquarters June 2004-March 2010
Hollywood, Fl.
Accounting Department
Staff Accountant, Fixed Asset Account, Accounts Payable Specialist
Responsible for weekly Bank reconciliations and Payroll cash requirements for over 2,000 employees. Facilitated and maintained the Asset Management database for all Seminole properties. Assisted in the preparation of yearly financial statements for combined Seminole and Hard Rock properties. Worked in accounts payables, receivables and employee loan programs. Prepared quarterly SUTA (payroll tax information) for IRS. Worked with various governmental grants obtained by the Seminole Tribe. Worked extensively with the Self-Insurance and risk management departments of the Tribe. Analyzed the issuance and redemption of bonds used for expansion and acquisition of Hard Rock International.

Morgan Stanley Pensacola Branch Apr 2002-Dec 2002
Pensacola, Fl.
Trained with a number of financial advisors in: trading, seminars, prospecting and portfolio management.

Scotia Bank (Bahamas) Ltd. March 1999-Aug 2001
Customer Service Representative
Performed routine teller transactions and participate in initial Sales Delivery Platform Program initiated in the Caribbean. Participated in numerous car shows and loan referral programs.

Accounts Payable Specialist
The Institute of Management and Administration 12/16/06

Registered Financial Associate
International Association of Registered Financial Consultants- 7/1/05

Master Financial Professional
American Academy of Financial Management 6/14/05

Competent Toastmaster
Toastmasters International Club 1600 12/19/00

Chartered Financial Analyst of Miami
Member since 2005

Institute of Certified Bankers
Associated Member August 2005.

Proficiency in all software applications associated with Microsoft Office Suites.
Excellent command of Microsoft Excel, Access, Power Point and Word.
Proficient with AccPac and QuickBooks Accounting software application.

Mr. Nathaniel Butler, Executive Officer, the National Insurance Board
502-1521 (Direct line).
Mr. Darren Bain, Lawyer, C.F. Butler & Associates
Kenwood Pratt, Chela-Tech medical laboratory, Lab Manager


  1. I empathized with you as well Mr. Spence as I have too applied for several position, 11 to be exact and NEVER have I ever received a call. I have a BA degree where I attain good grades so it can’t be because I’m not qualified. But it all boils down to who you know!!

  2. Alfred, I empathize with you my brother. One must have a foreign accent and WORK PERMIT to qualify for the kind of employment that you desire. When one has a work permit, one is subject to ‘institutional control’. That is the king pin in the decision to hire in the ‘big places’ in the BAHAMAS.

  3. this is true its who you know a friend of mines only got in there cause his late father gf told him fill out the form online and then when he was finished she added his name on the list in 2 weeks time he was called only because she works in human resources its who you know now a days

  4. Hi Alfred,

    May I make a suggestion? When you apply for another job, with your qualifications, some may even say you are overly qualified (when they don’t want to give you the job) copy the Labour and Immigration Departments on your letter application, and provide them with your proof of qualification; all vacant jobs should be registered with the Labour Department first and all qualified Bahamians should be given a shot at the job, then if a suitable qualified Bahamian candidate is not found in The Bahamas, the Company notifies the Labour & Immigration Departments, providing them with copies of the applicants and the publication of that job; the Labour & Immigration Departments should have the last say.

    In America, if a job is vacant it is advertised in all 50 States, then and only then, if no American is qualified, a foreigner may be considered. But, hiring someone other than an American is so remote, it is next to impossible! Nowadays, some American companies are allowing qualified, educated Bahamians to work with their companies on completing their degree on a Work Permit; Bahamian, Caribbean and West Indies citizens work very diligent and are serious about their jobs making them good candidates for foreign labour!

    The practice of hiring foreign workers is as old as the hills and you cannot blame the Employer for hiring foreign workers, the foreign companies do not run the country; have they been informed of government labour policies?, or maybe they are exempt from the rules of procedure for hiring foreign workers. Bahamians are now very qualified for any position in this country, it’s just that most of them live abroad with their high-paying jobs and know what the consequences are for returning home qualified.

  5. Hi Alfred,

    This is sad. They always do that …and its not only Atlantis. Funny thing is, we attend the SAME Universities as the Foreigners AND graduate with some of the highest GPA’s in these Universities, but the Bahamian employers STILL source workers from other countries. They first waste your time scheduling interviews knowing full and well that they already had a foreigner in mind. Secondly, they say thanks for applying and we will keep your resume on file. They then pay these foreigners RIDICULOUS amounts of money to a) Travel& relocate, b) provide housing for them and their families c) send their kids to the most expensive private schools d) Give them benefits for days!BUT they would not hire a qualified Bahamian and pay them a quarter of the foreigners base salary – and this is not hearsay. I know of this happening 3 times at 3 different offices.

  6. Why do people say “Tribune” when referring to basically any newspaper article?

    The relevant article appeared in the Guardian. Remember that one? The good one?

  7. Elizabeth, Thank you for your comment. I have been applying for the accounting job as advertised in the newspapers. However, I have been also applying for others as I am trained in marketing and financial services primarily. My background in accounting was afforded to me through experience. I will not comment on leaving previous employers in a public setting because I don’t think that would be professional.

  8. HI Alfred,
    although I do not wish to give an answer as to why Atlantis has not hired you, I do have a few questions in regards to your statements.
    Have you been applying to the accounting jobs in the newspapers? Each week there are at least 2 or 3 jobs for accountants. Also why did you leave BAF financial or Fidelity if you had a good position at those establishments?

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