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Kenyan construction workers arrive in Jersey

Kenyan construction workers arrive in Jersey

Tuesday 02 August 2022

Kenyan construction workers arrive in Jersey

Tuesday 02 August 2022

25 construction workers from Kenya who were employed via the new flexible work permit category have now arrived on the island.

The group, who were employed via employment agency GR8 and are living in accommodation provided by the firm, have previously worked on contracts for the US and UK Government in Afghanistan.

Their arrival follows the introduction of a new permit system allowing people from outside the Common Travel Area to be employed by firms like GR8 to work on different projects, rather than being tied to a single employer for a fixed term.

In addition to the nine-month construction permits, GR8 is also planning to bring staff on six-month temporary permits from 29 countries which do not require visas to work in Jersey.

"Recent events have made recruitment extremely challenging, but we worked with the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service and Home Affairs earlier this year and have found a solution that works for our clients and for the island," GR8's Managing Director, Lee Madden, explained.

"As the economy is rebuilt, the construction sector will continue to require people and there are currently not enough available in Jersey. We have plans to bring more skilled people from Kenya in the coming weeks to meet the demand as more building contracts come online. Accommodation is still issue, but we have secured suitable premises and are looking for additional housing for our next group of construction workers from outside the CTA."

He added: "We work on the basis that we will continue to need skilled people to support the Channel Islands' economies, especially while there are recruitment challenges. But we are also all about finding and giving people opportunities. While we will always support our local workforce, when the demand requires more people than the islands can provide, we look to the rest of the world.

"I have been getting to know our Kenyan workers over the last few days and I have been extremely impressed with the level of professionalism and pride they show in their work. Their presence here brings enormous value to the island, and they are making a massive positive impact to their families back home. GR8 really is helping to change lives, one job at a time."

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