Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley and members of his delegation met with a large gathering of students and Virgin Islanders at the BVI London Office in the United Kingdom on May 8.

Following greetings from Premier Wheatley, Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna Smith, OBE and Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, Honourable Sharie de Castro, Ministers fielded questions and comments from those in attendance.

The delegation entertained questions on various topics, including advancements in the education curriculum, incentives for Virgin Islanders to return home, assistance for persons with dementia, specialist healthcare needs, the cost of living, the use of artificial intelligence for solving crime, and the referendum on same sex marriages, among others.

Students who were in attendance are pursuing various disciplines including Law, Government and Political Science, Marine Engineering, and Science. They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to interact with the Premier and Ministers and to meet other students studying across the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Virgin Islanders in attendance congratulated the Premier on the formation of his new administration and wished him well as he and his team seek to advance the Territory. They also expressed their gratitude to the staff at the London Office for their hospitality and for another productive event.

Premier Wheatley said he was delighted to engage with the students and was pleased with the quality of the questions and comments received. One particular area that he promised to pursue is the development of a diaspora policy.

Premier Wheatley acknowledged that there are a large number of trained Virgin Islanders in various disciplines throughout the world and looked forward to developing a structured way in which they can be engaged to address various challenges in the Territory.