The Department of Economic Development has reviewed the impact of exemptions for certain roles in ICT and e-Business which were introduced in March 2016. Returns submitted by employers show that 17 local businesses made use of the new exemptions, employing 76 additional skilled and experienced workers as a result.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, commented:
‘The exemptions were brought to Tynwald last year to assist local employers in growing their businesses through acquiring additional skilled workers that could not be sourced on-island. They have been a success with employers who can attract talent swiftly with the added security often needed for relocation. We will continue to monitor the impact of the exemptions and will benchmark the scheme going forward.
‘The e-Business sector saw an 8% growth in jobs last year but is being threatened by a global skills shortage. The Isle of Man is alleviating this through a combined strategy of skills investment and local initiatives. This includes working closely with employers to promote ICT in schools through initiatives such as the Code Bus and funding the ‘Career Ready’ initiative to 6th form students in conjunction with the Department of Education and Children providing business mentors and internship opportunities in digital businesses. Working closely with the University College Isle of Man we have also launched a successful new digital apprenticeship programme which has seen 14 apprenticeships completed last year and numbers expected to increase to over 20 this year.’
Kurt Roosen, CEO of the Manx ICT Association (MICTA), commented:
‘We feel that the work permit exemption has been a huge success in terms of giving our members more confidence in recruitment and the ability to attract people to the Island to meet the clear challenge of the skills gap. The pool of workers needs to increase because the opportunities are growing on the Island, this is good news for both the sector and for the Isle of Man.’
The Department is committed to growing the economically active population and assisting employers with recruiting the best talent for their business. The Department will continue to offer the exemptions to local employers and is considering further reforms to the work permit system to aid economic growth.