The Department of Economic Development is pleased to announce details of a streamlined work permit process for applications for skilled ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and Engineering workers.
Currently, all applications for work permits in respect of people arriving in the Isle of Man are passed to the Work Permit Committee for their scrutiny which meets every two weeks. In a small minority of cases the Department is aware that this has led to delays.
The Department works closely with the private sector to understand local skills needs. As a result, the Department is aware that there is a skills shortage for Engineers and ICT professionals. To respond to this need, the Department has decided that relevant work permit applications which are correctly submitted will be considered administratively within two working days.
In addition, the Department has decided that work permits for skilled ICT and Engineering jobs may be issued for extended periods in excess of the normal 12 months, with special consideration being available for certain senior and strategically important positions. This is intended to help local employers to attract skilled workers.
While these process changes seek to assist employers, statutory checks must still be conducted and employers are encouraged to maintain established best practice in their recruitment and selection processes.
Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK commented:
‘It is crucial that we make all efforts to grow our economy and reduce bureaucracy on businesses where appropriate. We have clear evidence that there are shortages of both skilled ICT and Engineering workers at a time when these sectors are growing. I believe these changes to fast-track relevant work permit applications will help local employers to secure the skilled workers they need in the short-term. At the same, we will maintain checks (such as for criminality) to ensure we continue to protect the Island’s interests.
‘Also we are working with local employers and the Department of Education and Children to expand relevant vocational and educational courses to help local people gain the necessary skills in order to have a successful career in ICT or Engineering.
‘I believe the work permit system can and must protect the interests of existing Isle of Man workers and residents while also helping businesses to gain the skilled workers they need. To that end, my Department has undertaken a comprehensive review of the Control of Employment Act and it is my intention to bring forward a new Bill in the coming months so that – with Tynwald’s support and approval – we can make further improvements to help us grow our economy.’
Should you have any queries regarding this process or any matter relating to employment controls you are encouraged to make contact with the Work Permit Office in the first instance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 682306.