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Gorst welcomes immigration survey response

Gorst welcomes immigration survey response

Friday 21 February 2014

Gorst welcomes immigration survey response

Chief Minister Ian Gorst has welcomed a business survey into his plans to tighten up immigration limits – even though the survey said that more than half didn’t believe his proposals would work.

Responding to the Chamber of Commerce’s survey on plans to stick more tightly to a 325 immigration target, the Senator said that he welcomed contributions to a debate that was “fundamental to the future of Jersey”.

The survey results were mixed – respondents were split 50/50 on whether the plans would dampen the economic recovery, and 58% said that they were unachievable.

In his response, Senator Gorst said that the population policy needs to balance the impact on the economy, the environment and the community.

He said: “Ministers want to work with local businesses and we welcome contributions to the debate. I am pleased that more than 70% of employers who responded to the survey do not believe the interim policy will cause them recruitment difficulties.

“The initiatives we have established to support Islanders into employment are providing a pool of staff who are ready to work for local businesses.

“Population is a complex issue that is about much more than numbers and I am pleased to see that Chamber appreciates the difficult balance ministers have to strike: supporting the economy by securing economic growth, while protecting the environment and sustaining our community.”

A Scrutiny panel has called public hearings on the Council of Ministers’ plans for the two-year interim population policy, which is the same as the current States policy agreed by politicians in 2009.

Every year since then has seen the target exceeded, with an average of 575 newcomers every 12 months over the last four years.

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