NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
Last week the Isle of Man government introduced new work permit rules which it says are destined to make the Island more ‘business friendly’.
Control of Employment regulations that have existed on Mann for decades are an important protection for Manx working people and there is general support for the so called ‘work permit system’. However the regulations have not been liked by some elements of government or the business community for well over two decades but previous attempts to dismantle the regulations failed miserably.
The Manx government is therefore subjecting the controls to a death by a thousand cuts and steadily it has extended time limits for temporary employment and introduced more and more exemptions.
However the government knows that its changes are still not well received by the public so it has to lie and spin the changes as if they are somehow beneficial. Tugging at the heart strings (almost literally) when the regulation changes were mooted they highlighted the advantages to the health care sector.
This week as the changes were initiated it was the IT sector that was going to get a boost po-faced Industry Minister Laurence Skelly told the media that this fast growing industry needs to urgently fill 100 jobs. Now you would think the possibility of such work would be a real draw for Manx workers it would be secure and one presumes reasonably well remunerated employment.
The absence of workers to fill these ‘vacancies’ is all the more surprising as for the last two decades major government investment has gone in to promoting IT in the education system. Indeed a few years ago a news day hardly passed by without mention of computer education, new computer suites in schools or computer buses trundling around to schools. Even trade unions got in on the act with the old TGWU for many years running both introductory and advanced courses.
In 2001 the CFO at the Treasury even announced the government would be establishing courses at the International Business School to capitalise on the new opportunities.
In this ‘e-fever’ the government took the issue one step further and appointed, about fifteen years ago, a so called ‘e-czar’ (I wonder where that position went). Now one would think that given all this focus and investment government would today have a plethora of local persons eager to realise a lucrative career in the IT sector.
Not according to Skelly and rather than apologise for his and previous governments shortcomings his solution is to export the jobs. Skelly says his work permit changes will give certain areas of the economy ‘a helping hand’. However what they will do in the long term is ‘help’ more IOM workers on to the unemployment register.
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues