The Institute of Directors (IoD) Guernsey is pleased that the States is putting forward proposals to address the long-term challenge of a declining population and workforce, with a policy to increase net migration.
Whilst the net migration number of +300 per year will inevitably attract much debate - and there will be a limit to the population the island can sustain –the IoD Guernsey supports the positive message that Guernsey is open for business, focused on growth and recognises the importance of migration for a dynamic and resilient economy and society.
We believe that managed population growth should be the main pillar in the island’s strategy to resolve the demographic problem, which must also consider other measures including labour participation, productivity and automation.
There is much work to be done to understand the implications for the environment, quality of life, housing, land use, transport and public services, which will require an integrated approach from the States.
Smart planning and development, which recognises the need to preserve or enhance the island’s natural capital, must also be a key factor. The government will also need to carefully consider the sectors the island needs to target in the context of labour shortages, future skills and economic contribution.