But the shortages of people ready and willing to help make that happen could prove to be a real headache. During the pandemic many were forced to leave the islands and the industry now has a smaller pool to tap into. Travel restrictions and Brexit have further squeezed the market of available labour and although the UK would seem to be the easiest source, people are simply not travelling here to work.
Brexit changes and a desire to limit migration has meant new rules on who can come here from outside the Common Travel Area. EU nationals who can prove they have lived or worked here before have until the end of June to apply for Settled Status.
They are a group that have traditionally come here, mainly people from Madeira and Portugal who have family links here. That’s also become true for people from Poland, Romania and otherEastern European countries.
Jersey remains an attractive destination for those looking for some stability when they arrive. The construction industry has negotiated 4- year licences for employees coming here from outside the CT or who do not haves settled status. With construction projects usually lasting longer than a year an employer can bring someone in on a four-year licence that has to be renewed once a year. It’s a solution that could work for bringing people here from Portugal, Madeira, Poland and even further afield.
We would always look first to the local market but we know that the squeeze on people means some businesses are being out-priced by others. This has already been happening in hospitality, and now we are hearing similar stories within construction. We all want to pay our people more, rewarding experience and hard work, but we cannot let a wage ware to get of hand.