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Thursday 22 June 2017

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Almost 240 jobs included in Employment Permit policy under new population management system

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Almost 240 jobs have been included in a policy that will see employment permits accessed more easily under the new population management system.

The Committee for Home Affairs has approved the Employment Permit policy following recommendations from the independent Population Employment Advisory Panel, which was appointed by the States of Guernsey in September. The panel has spent the last six months engaging with the business community before submitting its proposals about which roles should benefit from the certainty a formal policy would provide.

Employment permits under the new law are short-term (one year), medium-term (five years) and long-term (eight years). Short-term permits can be renewed for postholders each year until they reach five years residence, before the employee must leave the island. Medium-term permit holders are able to rent or buy their own home but must leave the island at the expiry of their permit. Long-term permits are given to essential posts, where the skills are in short supply internationally, or where there is a clear need for long-term continuity, and the employee is free to remain in the island permanently once they have completed eight years in the job.

Jobs eligible for long-term permits are diverse and include commercial pilots, cyber security specialists, senior fiduciary specialists, nurses and certain care home staff, social workers and secondary school teachers in maths, English or science.

Specific hospitality trade positions, such as a head chef, hotel manager and restaurant manager, will also be eligible for long-term permits.

Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said the committee had approved every one of the jobs recommended for permit by the Population Employment Advisory Panel, with only a couple of minor amendments to category descriptions.

'The membership of the Population Employment Advisory Panel represents the wide range of industries active in Guernsey,' she said. 'It has over the last six months carried out an intensive piece of work engaging with hundreds of businesses, from growers and small retailers to large multi-nationals, to provide information about their business needs and areas where there are skills and manpower shortages locally. 

'It was the role of the advisory panel to gather this information, and from it find common needs and issues to turn into evidence-based recommendations for the Committee for Home Affairs to consider. Our Committee has recognised the importance of this work to the island's community and the economy, so before reaching any decisions, the PEAP's findings and recommendations were also presented to the Committee for Economic Development. 

'We believe the roles the Committee has so far approved represent an excellent starting point, but we also recognise that this is the beginning not the end of this process. The panel will continue to engage with industry and the Committee will maintain its commitment to shaping the new population management system to meet the needs of our whole community. It is also important that, as a community, we understand the diverse range of skills guest workers bring.  This policy brings out into the open the reality of what employers need, and when we compare this to the licences that have been issued in the past, we can see that the PEAP's recommendations are realistic.'

Peter Gillson chairs the panel and said its initial recommendations were a result of close liaison with various sectors, whose input was invaluable.

'Some sectors aren't really represented because they did not to engage when given the chance, which could be a sign that they don't have a need to bring people to Guernsey to work for them, or maybe it is because they haven't yet fully appreciated the benefits of the employment permit policy,' he said.

'Having said that, we expect, and encourage, businesses to review the policy, and to engage with their PEAP rep if they feel their needs are under-represented.'

Mr Gillson said the PEAP would report to the Committee for Home Affairs at regular intervals, both to provide updates on how the policies are working at the coalface, and to make recommendations for changes or additions to the employment permit policy.

Employers remain able to apply for permits for jobs outside of the policy, with each application considered on its merits.

The Employment Permit Policy can be found at www.gov.gg/populationmanagement or in the downloads section on this page.

Downloads

Employment Permit Policy

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