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Call For Two-Year Hospitality Work Permits

The Jersey Hospitality Association has called for a temporary two-year permit to replace the current nine-month one for hospitality workers.

It forms part of a manifesto and call for the next government to work with the industry to nurture and rebuild, after the devastating effects of Covid-19 and Brexit.

The JHA says a two-year permit will control inward migration, but help the industry with its skill shortages.

Deputy Rowland Huelin has recently lodged a proposition to ask the government to find appropriate sites for short-term accommodation to attract and house between 200 and 500 temporary workers.

The Association also wants:

A worker housing strategy: "Purpose-built temporary worker accommodation that releases the pressure on Jersey’s residential sector."

Initiatives to boost skills and encourage local talent: "Training and productivity support, local talent education becoming a centre of excellence, carbon zero initiatives, increasing connectivity, developing a conference centre and very importantly growing the visitor numbers out of season."

A dedicated political champion for hospitality and tourism: "Lobby to stop the increases in cost of living, taxes, duties and the cost of doing business, and stimulate incentives for investment-growth, productivity and skills."

The JHA says its manifesto highlights the key issues facing the industry and how it hopes to work together with the new government to 'nurture and rebuild our vibrant sector.'

"The industry has lost over 1,000 employees in the last couple of years. It suffered a loss in revenue estimated at 70% at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with Gross Value Added (GVA) falling by 86% on 2019 figures.

Other pressures on the sector include the high cost of doing business here. In the last couple of years, the industry has lost over 1,500 beds. Increasing wages, higher taxes and higher freight and wholesale costs mean that many members of the industry will be forced to pass on those costs to the consumer, making Jersey an even more expensive place to visit and live.

A lack of investment due to the current uncertainty and government red tape, notably in renovations and technology, holds back innovation and will impact future competitiveness.

Unless our businesses can adapt to the needs of today’s consumer, they are at risk of hindering growth in the sector as a whole and many businesses could be forced to close."

Channel 103 spoke to several members of the hospitality industry last summer, with staffing levels described as 'at crisis point' and 'the worst it has ever been.'

The manifesto was developed following workshops held with members of the industry.

JHA Chief Executive Claire Boscq these 'simple and effective actions' can help the industry back on a more even footing, whilst supporting a more sustainable and vibrant local economy.

"We value the positive and proactive working relationship we have with States Members and the Government of Jersey, and we hope that our manifesto sends a clear message that we want to work with them to ensure the future of our industry is as vibrant as we know it can be.

The way of life we value in Jersey is supported by the many hospitality businesses that provide excellent service and venues. Without them, Jersey would lose its beating heart.

Hospitality businesses are crucial to Jersey’s recovery from the pandemic, but they need all the support they can get due to the effects of Brexit and rising costs."

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