Another summer is over as, apparently, it’s meteorological autumn now. But what a summer! The weather continues to give us a feel good factor as did the wonderful Olympics – let’s hope the Paralympians continue the trend. Unfortunately, the trend in the Bailiwick has been much more mixed.
I have had the pleasure over the Bank Holiday of playing host to three of my cousins from the UK. They had a thoroughly great time (and I had a chance to be a big kid again!) In a few short days, we visited many wonderful attractions and strolled on the beautiful beach at Cobo. However, although we ate out quite a bit, I was disappointed in the service we received at a couple of restaurants having to wait ages for mixed-up orders and, on one occasion, my order completely forgotten. Although the food was always fantastic once finally received, it does not show Guernsey at its best I’m afraid.
So, as I am always investigating these things, I asked afterwards why the service was slow and I was told that they did not have enough staff as they found it very difficult to recruit. So raises an issue I feel strongly about – the Population Management legislation coming into force in 2017. It is vital that this legislation works in practice as we need to ensure that our businesses have a quality labour force and, if we don’t have local workers, we can recruit abroad.
It is not just the effect of the Open Market restrictions on the hospitality and care sectors that concerns me, it is also the ability to keep our youngsters on Island. I have had a few chats this week about the opportunities in technology our businesses can offer but, to fill those roles, we must spark their interest and offer our young people the right training and then, when they are qualified, offer them the right environment so they want to stay.
Last week I was pleased to play a small part in giving a big boost to the local economy in the form of the latest build at Admiral Park and Leale’s Yard at the Bridge. Whilst any development will have its downside, the benefits to both the construction and finance industry will help us all in the long run. Hopefully, the many new homes at the Bridge will give hope to those looking for their first home but will also result in a decision on how to get these buyers onto the property ladder. Maybe it will help keep our youngsters on Island too.
As well as supporting the finance industry, I am also keen to encourage good communication between us Deputies as well as between the States and the public. So I am looking forward later this morning in joining Deputy St Pier, the President of P&R, and the Presidents of the other 6 Principal Committees and some of their Committee Members at Beau Sejour (Saturday 3rd September 10am until midday) and listening to their answers to your questions. You never know I might find out what they have been up to ……..