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Gov tugs on Commonwealth ties amid hospitality recruitment crisis

Gov tugs on Commonwealth ties amid hospitality recruitment crisis

Monday 04 October 2021

Gov tugs on Commonwealth ties amid hospitality recruitment crisis

Monday 04 October 2021

The Government is in discussions with officials from other jurisdictions about sourcing hotel, bar and restaurant workers from Commonwealth countries for 2022, after Jersey’s hospitality sector limped through summer short of 1,500 workers.

The tough summer followed the industry - which underpins the island's ability to attract tourists - taking a £102m hit last year.

Figures released by Statistics Jersey on Friday showed that the industry’s economic output was £122m in 2020, 45% down on 2019 when it was £224m.

It was the greatest decrease of any sector, with the next largest hits to transport and agriculture whose value to the island’s economy fell 22% and 23% respectively.

Hospitality also saw its productivity take the largest hit of any industry, with each employee’s economic contribution standing at £27,000 in comparison to a £70,000 average across all sectors.

While this summer saw more venues able to open their doors again, many still struggled with covid and Brexit-linked staff shortages, forcing them to scale back their offering or even temporarily close. 


Pictured: How different industries were hit during 2020. (Statistics Jersey)

While there are currently 174 vacancies advertised on the jobs page, recent research by Jersey Business and the Jersey Hospitality Association has suggested that the sector was up to 1,500 workers short this summer. 

Referencing this research, Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham said last week in response to a question from Deputy Mike Higgins that the “supply of labour in that sector is predicted to remain tight for the foreseeable future in Jersey” and, as such, the Government is exploring options for helping to plug this gap by working with other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

Asked for further detail about this work, a Government spokesperson told Express: “Initial discussions are being held between Government officials from Jersey and from other jurisdictions on the possibility of securing peak season sources of labour from other parts of the Commonwealth.

They did not answer questions on which Commonwealth jurisdictions were being targeted in particular.

The spokesperson added: “Jersey officials will also be liaising with local sector representatives and key organisations to ensure that industry needs are adequately represented.”

But hospitality isn’t the only area that has been hit – “there is also a degree of unmet demand across a range of other sectors, including retail, social care and construction”, according to Senator Farnham.

There are currently 126 vacancies on the jobs site in retail, sales, warehouse and fulfilment roles, 82 in health and social care, and 78 in building and construction.

"A broad range of Government actions are therefore being deployed in response [to recruitment issues in these areas]," the Economic Development Minister said.

"Amongst other things, Skills Jersey is currently reviewing the supply and demand for heavy goods vehicle drivers in the Island and researching delivery options for a Cyber Security apprenticeship pathway. The Fiscal Stimulus Fund is supporting a project that will encourage domiciliary care providers to recruit and train new staff members to provide home care services.

"Looking to the future, Government is developing a Skills Strategy in recognition of the fact that the pace of evolution across many economic sectors will change both the overall requirement for staff and the particular skills that employers in those sectors require."

Statistics Jersey's GVA (gross value added) report, which measure the growth and contraction of the island's economy, showed that the overall value of Jersey's economy in 2020 was £4.6bn, a fall of £600m from £5.1bn in 2019.


Express recently spoke to the new head of the island's key hospitality lobby group, Claire Boscq-Scott, about the challenges facing the industry...

The new voice of hospitality

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by IanSmith97 on
Like the U.K. some businesses here have models built on cheap imported labour. This has to stop. However, if some workers have to be imported, under no circumstances should we return to situation when some European countries acceded to the EU in 1986 and 2004 and they exported their labour to the more prosperous EU and Jersey. This resulted in thousands and thousands coming here and settling permanently. No more. Any permits issued must be time limited (like they were pre 1986 and 2004) and ensure the permit holder returns to their home country at the end of their term.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Seriously think Tourism and those businesses associated with them ,will price themselves out. Restaurants especially have put their prices up considerably.This isn't a cheap place to visit anymore ,hasn't been for last decade.
Posted by Scott Mills on
Erm these commonwealth citizens will have more attrative places in the world to go and work, without the need to work to pay the rent, other places they can work and live while there. It's a no brainer. Why don't restaurants move with the times, and change models, self service (reduce cost of meal), buffets style restaurants with a variety of different foods under one roof (not just 4 main choices and 1 veggie one!!!). Jersey thinks it's forward thinking, just look at the olmypic skate park, how's that coming along. On a side note, if it wasn't for a tudors\elizabethan castles and the germans, some dolmens, and la hougue bie, what exactly is there for tourists. who not that bothered about it, and more importanlty what exactly is here amenity wise for locals...sod all apart from beaches.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Why just limit the choice to commonwealth countries, Eastern European & Philippines produce good workers and providing the wages were decent, they could be employed on short term contracts.
Health could also look to these areas to take on trainees, for the many full time permanent positions that are vacant.
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