Efforts to get extra job roles added to the Long Term Employment Permit list which underpins Guernsey's population management strategy have been rejected, and employers told that if they can prove people are needed in a certain sector those roles can be added anyway.
The States have been debating changes to the island's population management strategy this week.
A number of amendments were placed against proposals put forward by the Committee for Home Affairs.
One, amendment 4, sought to "direct the Committee for Home Affairs to explore what options may be available to add other job roles to the Long-Term Employment Permit list based on Guernsey's workforce shortages and unique economic context and to report back to the States before the end of this political term."
The Home Affairs Committee voted against this amendment along with 18 other States members meaning the amendment lost.
Pictured: Deputy Rob Prow.
Deputy Rob Prow, the Home Affairs President had convinced most members the amendment just wasn't needed. He also asked the States to trust his committee.
"I think we can all use words, trust and so forth. To put it into the contact of this debate, what I think Deputy Taylor and many speakers have said, and I said, is that it's about listening to the advice of the subject matter experts."
He continued by saying that having taken legal advice, Home Affairs is certain that its proposals already offer enough leeway to add in additional roles if they are proven to be necessary of inclusion on the employment list.
"The bottom line is... that if there is a need or shortage that can be evidenced or demonstrated then it will be put on the list."
By modelling Guernsey's Long Term Employment Permit List on the UK proves that it can be modified to suit, said Deputy Prow who referenced that train drivers are not on our list, for obvious reasons.
"Construction has been mentioned," he said. "This is other side of the argument. We have a very very strong trades based sector in Guernsey. We have plenty of plumbers, decorators and lots of local people in the construction industry. There is not necessarily the same pressure on that labour pool as in other areas but if it's demonstrated by the construction sector that there are shortages and it is evidenced they can and will be put on the list."
Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller had proposed the amendment, which was seconded by Deputy Heidi Soulsby, by suggesting that the low level of unemployment and the high vacancy rate, showed that some relaxing of the employment permit list was needed.
Pictured: The construction industry was used as an example where it is not on the long term employment list but it has numerous vacancies to fill.
"The UK has a long list of roles for arrival and settlement. We should be looking at them where we can, and that is evidenced by the extensive amount of labour shortages we have," she said.
Using the housing crisis as an example, she had said that she did not understand how the current permit list was adequate.
"There has been lots said about the housing crisis but we still don't have the construction industry on that list, as an automatic. If they have those jobs they want to fill they will apply, but if they don't have those roles they will not apply for those permits. So again this is a market regulating system."
Ultimately 8 States members voted 'pour' the amendment and 23 States members voted 'contre'.
Pour: Deputies Cameron, De Sausmarez, Fairclough, Kazantseva-Miller, Leadbeater, Parkinson, Soulsby and St Pier.
Contre: Deputies Aldwell, Blin, Brouard, Burford, De Lisle, Dyke, Ferbrache, Gabriel, Haskins, Inder, Le Tissier, Mahoney, McKenna, Meerveld, Moakes, Murray, Oliver, Prow, Queripel, Roffey, Taylor, Trott and Vermeulen.
Ne vote pas: Deputies Gollop, Matthews, Roberts, Snowdon
Absent: Deputies Bury, Dudley-Owen, Falla, Helyar, Le Tocq.
Pictured top: Deputies Sasha Kazantseva-Miller and Heidi Soulsby.
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