Tackling Jersey unemployment to be 'highest priority'

Jersey job centre kiosk
Image caption Jersey's government will invest in training schemes to tackle unemployment

Jersey's chief minister says getting people back to work will be the highest priority for the government.

Senator Ian Gorst said unemployment led to ill-health, loss of self esteem and problems in the community.

The chief minister said more money would be given to initiatives aimed at tackling unemployment.

The number of people unemployed in Jersey in October was the highest recorded to date.

There were 1,500 people actively seeking work in October, which was 130 higher than in the previous month.

Long-term unemployed

The number of people registered unemployed for more than a year has more than doubled during the past 12 months according to the States of Jersey statistics unit.

The chief minister said the government would be providing payments to employers who employ young people and the long-term unemployed.

He said: "These payments will be sufficiently large for employers to make them worthwhile.

"This expenditure could add up to a considerable sum, but would mostly be funded from savings in benefits that would arise as a result."

The government will also invest in work-focused training courses and environmental and community projects.

Senator Gorst said: "These measures will require the appropriate level of funding and although we are all aware of the tight public finances, it is far better to make these investments now than to suffer far greater costs to our society and economy in the longer term.

"I am pleased to be able to say that the treasury minister and his team are ensuring that funding will be available as soon as it is needed to allow departments to concentrate on getting on with the tasks ahead."

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