The latest Isle of Man Business Confidence Survey, released by the Economic Affairs Division of the Cabinet Office this week, has revealed that employer satisfaction with the work permit system has more than doubled from 27% to 56% over the six-month period between October 2017 and April 2018.
During this time the Department for Enterprise introduced a raft of work permit reforms including the introduction of simplified fees for longer term permits, a simplified online application process and automatic 1 year permit for cohabiting partners of Isle of Man workers, work permit holders, and exempt persons upon application.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:
‘I am pleased to see such a positive response from our local employers following the introduction of measures to improve our Island’s work permit system. The need to grow the economically active population is still a significant focus and the Department remains committed to working across the public and private sectors to sustain the growth of our local economy and ensure businesses have the people they need to succeed.’
‘In addition the Department has worked closely with colleagues in the Cabinet Office to reform the process for recruiting workers from outside the European Economic Area by introducing a simplified process for employers which removes the sponsorship licensing regime - reducing costs and time for businesses. The changes are based around key employments where the Island faces acute skills shortages allowing us to best meet the needs of the Island’s economy while still protecting local workers.’
The Isle of Man Business Confidence Survey invited feedback from local employers to gauge business activity, optimism, future employment and investment for all sectors of the economy.
The latest survey indicated a general business environment of optimism and the anticipation of growth with employers across all sectors on average more optimistic about business growth over the next six months as compared to growth observed over the previous six months.
The Isle of Man Business Confidence Survey 2018. A report is published on the Economic Affairs Division section of the Government website.
The Department for Enterprise offers a range of support and financial assistance for businesses at all stages of growth.