08 August 2017
The latest statistics from the Population Office show that new measures to reduce the number of employment permissions for newer migrants have seen 283 permanent registered permissions revoked in the last six months. This compares to 47 such permissions revoked in the first six months of 2016.
The figures also show that in the last six months 161 seasonal permissions have been granted for recent migrants. This reflects the government’s continued support for the traditional industries of hospitality and agriculture. The sectors that hold the most registered permissions are hospitality, agriculture and fishing, and financial and legal.
The new measures were announced in January as part of an initiative to focus migration on delivering the greatest social and economic value, and to allocate permissions more fairly across businesses.
Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said “The decision to remove permanent permissions from businesses that hold more than the average for their industry, while also granting retail, agriculture and hospitality industries more seasonal work permissions, is part of a wider population policy to enhance our migration controls.
“Unemployment is at its lowest level for more than seven years, and this does make recruitment more difficult. However, Islanders are concerned at the level of migration, which has been higher than we would like. This is a small Island and our challenge is to balance sustainable migration that supports our economy with the need to protect our environment and deliver sufficient quality housing.”
This year has seen a drop in the number of newly arrived people applying for registration cards. The number for the first six months of 2017 is 16% down on the same time last year – from 1,902 to 1,595. These figures are for new registrations and exclude Jersey born people and resident under-eighteens registering for the first time.
A draft Population Policy is being finalised which will continue to enhance migration controls. As well as the work already begun on removing permissions, increasing fees and investing in skills, the policy explores the selective use of work permits, criminal record checks for all new migrants, and photographs on new registration cards.
The States Assembly is due to debate the policy in the autumn.