GR8, the Channel Islands’ blue-collar employment specialist, has welcomed a new flexible work permit category that allows employment agencies to take on construction workers on short term contracts.
The change to the immigration system means that agencies such as GR8 can directly employ people from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) to work on projects where needed, rather than be tied into a single employer on a fixed term permit.
Lee Madden, Managing Director of GR8, said that GR8 will recruit and employ skilled people who will be available to work where needed. The recruitment agency is looking for shared accommodation to house its employees who will share the rental cost with the business who is using their services.
Lee told Channel Eye: “Brexit and Covid have had a significant impact on Jersey’s ability to recruit and retain people to work in all sectors but as we move towards rebuilding the economy, the construction sector will need more people than are currently available in the island. There are already a number of large construction projects in progress and as more come online, we need to be in the position to meet the demand for skilled construction staff.
“We have a ready route to recruit people from outside the CTA and we are identifying premises for them to live in while accommodation remains an issue in Jersey. This accommodation will be affordable and will have no impact on local housing.”
Lee has been working with the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service and Home Affairs Minister to find solutions to the skills and recruitment issues that many sectors of the economy are facing.
He added: “We wanted to find a way that was flexible enough to guarantee 40 hours of work per week. This solution provides Jersey with another avenue to bring people in without putting a strain on the local infrastructure. The lifeblood of any business is its people, and we need to find ways to support those that come here and support our businesses and our economy.”