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Longer Permits To Plug Recruitment Gaps

New temporary 12 month work permits will be made available to the island’s hospitality and agriculture sectors.

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed the move this week in the States Chamber.

Deputy Helen Miles says that she has been carefully considering changes that need to be made to the work permit policy.

"When our work permit policy was developed in the early 1980s, it was designed to keep people out.

It was to make sure that people didn't come to Jersey and gain their housing qualifications and stay too long and take jobs away from local residents.

Clearly we are in a very different position now."

The new rules will also allow for the permits to be extended up to three years, but workers will be required to leave the island for the same amount of time that they stayed in employment.

Home Affairs Minister, Deputy Helen Miles

Murray Norton, Chief Executive of Jersey's Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the decision.

"I think it's a step forward, and its a helpful step.

It's what Chamber members in the hospitality sector have said that they wanted and the Chamber members have been talking to government ministers and policy officers for some time about this, to get a change in the policy.

It will aid recruitment and it's more cost-effective for businesses to recruit."

But Mr Norton says that there's still a lot of work to do.

"We need to look at the work and housing regulations and make them more suitable for the ever-changing world that we're in.

There's a need for talent on-island. There are more jobs than there are people, so there no one silver bullet for all this.

We have to take it one bit at a time and find longer term solutions and longer term strategies."

Last week, the Housing Minister told Scrutiny that he would be withdrawing his controversial Rent Control Tribunal to make way for a new 'fit for purpose' residential tenancy law.

Murray Norton says he's expecting a call from Deputy David Warr soon.

"He is aware of what we require. We're already in conversation with the Environment Minister with regard to regulations on planning developments for staff accommodation, so that could be worked into the mix so there is more viable accommodation for employees."

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed that the new permit rules will be in place ready for the summer season.

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