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Talks ongoing over population management concerns

Talks ongoing over population management concerns

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Talks ongoing over population management concerns

Wednesday 24 January 2024


The CGi says it still has serious concerns over the island's population management system but it has welcomed the opportunity to work with Home Affairs to find solutions.

The Confederation of Guernsey Industry aims to represent local businesses, many of which it says have struggled to recruit and retain staff since recent challenges to the island's population management system were aggravated by Brexit.

The Chairman and others have recently met with the President of Home Affairs and praised his committee's "openness to engage with local firms to address population law problems".

Deputy Rob Prow met CGi Chairman Dave Newman and others to "discuss concerns with the island’s population laws and the new initiatives designed to help local businesses".

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Pictured: CGi Chairman Dave Newman.

The meeting last week saw a delegation of local companies also share their thoughts. These businesses represented a diverse view of the economy with representatives from cleaning and facilities management firms, manufacturing, on-island transport, aircraft servicing, utility sectors, and more.

Mr Newman said that as a group the CGi "appreciate Deputy Prow’s willingness to engage with us so he could explain the role of Home Affairs in supporting local businesses.

"Equally, this gave our members the opportunity to relay their firsthand experiences in how the law was working and the problems they’ve encountered."

The CGi says these problems cover short term and seasonal licenses, open market legislation, the time taken to process applications and the role of the Population Employment Advisory Panel.

The businesses present wanted to explain the significant issues and obstacles they are each encountering when attempting to recruit workers off-Island.

Mr Newman is hopeful the talks will continue and will help find solutions. 

"We understand there is no easy solution to easing immigration controls and these are due to the constraints of Brexit, the Common Travel Area and the limitations of the existing law. The Population Management team is certainly working extremely hard to engage with CGi members and other companies.

"Our concerns, however, remain so we are to maintain a regular dialogue with Home Affairs and Population Management and work to support member firms as best we can."

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Pictured: Just a few months ago the CGi issued a "grave warning" that the population management law is "damaging" vital industries such as catering, hygiene, retail and transport.

The Population Management Law regulates the size and make-up of Guernsey's population and also determines who can live in certain accommodation. 

In September last year the CGi had called for the legislation to be "scrapped or radically improved", warning that it was "damaging" vital industries such as catering, hygiene, retail and transport.

The CGi said the law was creating a "skills drain" with local businesses "chronically short of trained and experienced staff".

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