150 seasonal work permits have been made available to the hospitality industry to help them overcome staffing challenges.
The permits, which form part of a two-year trial, will allow employees from outside the European Economic Area to work in Jersey for up to nine months.
Those that gain a permit will have to leave once it expires, and will not be able to return for another three months.
Pictured: Constable Len Norman, Home Affairs Minister, who approved the decision.
It comes after the Jersey Hospitality Association laid out a detailed business case outlining the need for the industry to be able to recruit workers from outside Jersey in order to be able to thrive, given a lack of appropriately skilled people locally.
“In light of these challenges, I am satisfied that it is necessary to make 150 work permits available in order to make sure that hospitality businesses can employ sufficient staff over the coming season,” Home Affairs Minister Len Norman, who approved the permits’ release, commented.
“Hospitality is very important for our island, and tourists and locals alike enjoy the wide variety of hotels, restaurants and cafés that the island has to offer. The sector provides huge economic benefits to our island, and it is vital that we do what we can to support and protect local businesses.”
Pictured: The solution, Ministers say, helps ease pressure on the hospitality industry, without having an impact on the island's population.
Jersey’s Minister for Economic Development, Senator Lyndon Farnham, added that he was happy a solution had been found that will give the industry “access to the skilled workers that it requires, without this having a long-term impact on the island’s total population”.
Jersey Hospitality Association Chief Executive Simon Soar said he was “delighted” with the decision.
“It’s something that we have been working with the Department as well as Customs and Immigration services to alleviate some of the problems we have been facing without impacting some of the bigger concerns such as the Population Policy,” he explained.
“We are repeating a model that we know works,” Mr Soar added, alluding to workers brought in in 2005, which he said was successful.
Pictured: Simon Soar, Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association (JHA).
However, he told Express that this latest move was not a “permanent solution” to the industry’s woes, however.
“It won’t fix everything, but it’s a step in the right direction. It will help alleviate certain pressures in certain areas of the industry, such as hotels because of the restrictions around it.”
It comes as the JHA and wider industry are making a push to excite locals about hospitality and seek out a “vibrant career” there, including through close work with Highlands College and Skills Jersey.
Next month, they’ll be holding ‘Zest’ festival in a bid to attract more people. The three-day showcase will include workshops, masterclasses and competitions, as well as a cocktail-making event and butchery and fishmongery demonstrations.
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