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Young French workers could support Channel Islands' service industry

Young French workers could support Channel Islands' service industry

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Young French workers could support Channel Islands' service industry

Tuesday 17 May 2022


More young workers from France could be welcomed to work in the Channel Islands in future, under proposals discussed at a recent political summit hosted by the council of the French department of Ille-et-Vilaine.

Jersey has had a cooperation agreement with Ille-et-Vilaine since 2008 and Guernsey joined in 2017.

The purpose of the agreement is to develop relationships between the three administrations and facilitate joint working in a number of areas, including youth mobility and overseas aid.

Attending last week's summit were Jersey's Chief Minister and External Relations Minister, but both were unable to comment on what had been discussed due to the pre-election period of sensitivity.

However, Guernsey's External Relations Lead Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq explained that looking at how young workers could support the islands' service industries had been on the agenda.

“We’re looking at what existing ties we have, one being that geographically we’re very close. We’ve had transport links with Saint Malo for quite a number of years," he said.

“We have talked about exchanges of internships and apprenticeships,” he added. “They’ve got quite high youth unemployment and they know that some of their young people would benefit from working in an English-speaking environment.”

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Pictured: The annual summit was held in Rennes.

Deputy Le Tocq continued: “We were on the cusp of doing something in 2019 and then covid hit.

"We were working around Brexit, working with the UK government on visas that would allow 6 or 9-month internships; it also might mean young people here could go over there, but particularly allowing people to come over here, which would help us in some areas of the service industry.

“I think this initiative will come about and it was discussed this time [at the summit].”

In addition to youth mobility, Deputy Le Tocq said the council discussed the future development of Saint Malo’s port, and joint working on overseas aid initiatives. Express sat down with Deputy Le Tocq to discuss other workstreams and we’ll be bringing your more on the summit over the next couple of days.

Pictured top - left to right: Marcel Le Moal (departmental councillor), Charlotte Faillé (departmental councillor), Emmanuel Berthier (Prefect of Brittany), Senator John Le Fondré (Jersey's Chief Minister), Jean-Luc Chenut (Ille-et-Vilaine President), Michèle Motel (departmental councillor), Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq (Guernsey's External Relations Lead), Ludovic Coulombel (departmental councillor) and Senator Ian Gorst (Jersey's External Relations Minister).

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