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Hospitality could benefit if States approve population plans

Hospitality could benefit if States approve population plans

Thursday 15 September 2022

Hospitality could benefit if States approve population plans

Thursday 15 September 2022

A hotelier who represents hospitality says proposals to relax population controls and encourage a higher level of immigration "appear to be very positive for our industry".

Alan Sillett, the President of the Guernsey Hospitality Association, welcomes plans to make it easier for businesses to obtain short-term employment permits for workers from around the world for a greater range of job roles.

"Many of our members now look to recruit from non-European Union and non-Common Travel Area countries, such as Kenya, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and India, so it's good that being able to recruit new staff from these jurisdictions is recognised, and that the pathway for recruitment is as smooth as possible," said Mr Sillett.


Pictured: The Committee for Home Affairs wants to make it easier for businesses to obtain short-term employment permits for workers from around the world.

He also hopes the States back proposals to scrap five-year employment permits in favour of issuing more long-term employment permits which allow people to remain in the island indefinitely.

"The removal of medium term employment permits seems a sensible move, especially if most of the job roles that currently sit in that category will move up to qualify for long term employment permits," said Mr Sillett.

"I have never seen the sense in telling employees that they must leave the island, especially when they are doing a good job and are a benefit to the island.

"Staff retention is vital. The days of candidates walking into businesses asking what jobs are available are long gone. So we have to put a high emphasis on keeping the much-valued employees we already have here."


Pictured: This chart, published by the States, estimates the size of the island's workforce based on different levels of net inward migration.

Under the proposals published by the Committee for Home Affairs, the States’ strategic population policy would be changed to assume net inward migration of an average of 300 people per year. Net inward migration is the number of people moving to the island minus the number leaving. It has averaged 100 a year over the past 12 years.

The Committee estimates that its proposals would maintain the working-age population at around 31,000 and increase the total size of the population by approximately 4,000 to around 68,000 by the year 2051.

The States are expected to vote on the proposals next month. Mr Sillett, who runs the Duke of Normandie Hotel, urged deputies not to delay accepting the need to maintain the size of the workforce and expand the size of the population overall.

"The research the States have carried out, including the population statistics, clearly spells out that growth in the working population is going to be vital to the future of the island," he said.

"Hopefully the new [population] policies will be voted in by the States soon and other initiatives to support areas such as planning and housing can be progressed to assist in ensuring any growth happens in a sustainable way."


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