ALAN JACKSON gives his view on Guernsey's economic future
IF YOU wear a white collar in Guernsey, you would be right in thinking that Guernsey’s economic future is improving, with more than 1,000 jobs added to these sectors in the last nine years. However, concerns shared recently in the Press about the health of our High Street are timely.
Retail, however, is only one of many local business sectors at risk.
Agriculture, fisheries, hostelry, manufacturing and construction are all in decline. Together these industries employ more than a third of our adult workforce and account for roughly 40% (£1bn) of our GDP.
In the same nine-year period we have seen nearly 900 blue collar jobs lost. Jobs that paid taxes, jobs that generated £24m. each and every year in wages that fed into our local economy, and it’s getting worse!
While the recent announcement of the Guernsey Investment Fund is excellent news if you are working in technology or other innovative services, it does little for those in the traditionally blue collar sectors.
If we want to stop this decline and create a truly balanced economy, they will require the same levels of financial and structural support.
It’s worth remembering that our government collects taxes from all islanders, and arguably with the right financial and structural support, there are extensive opportunities for all sectors.
One has to only look at island-based innovators such as Blue Diamond, White Rock Brewery, Aquastar and Specsavers to see the potential.
The white-collar sector is a vital component to our continued growth; but it’s only a single piece of the puzzle.
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