Wider range of 'skilled' jobs could ease recruitment crisis, say industry leaders

Credit: ITV News

More jobs should be categorised as "skilled" to help with recruitment problems in Jersey according to industry leaders. Businesses in the hospitality and agricultural sectors say they are waiting more than six months to hire specialist staff as current permits do not class crucial jobs as "skilled".

Industry leaders say the current system is insufficient and does not meet Jersey's recruitment needs.

The Work Permit Holder Welfare Review Panel heard from businesses who have said certain roles such as herdsmen, tractor drivers or bakers, which are in high demand in the island, do not currently fall under the "skilled worker" list.

Businesses would then have to apply for a special case application, which is a longer process and often ends with applications being rejected.

Representatives from the Jersey Farmers’ Union said that modern tractors are extremely complicated and expensive pieces of machinery, which require extensive training and a great deal of skill to drive safely.

Leaders have said a lack of communication between themselves and government officials has made the situation even worse, leading to many businesses struggling to stay afloat.

Businesses also want the nine-month temporary work permit scheme to be revised, in a bid to ease pressures.

Currently those employed on these licences have to leave the island for at least three months after completing their nine month contracts.

Once they leave the island, they lose all entitlements they earnt in those first nine months, even if they choose to return three months later.

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