The Department of Economic Development has responded to this week’s quarterly report on the economy (Quarter 1 2017) which shows optimistic signs in a range of the Island’s sectors.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, commented:
‘The first Quarterly Report of 2017 continues to show cautious signs of economic optimism across the board, with positive indications in general employment and individual sector growth. The Programme for Government clearly states a commitment to an ‘Island of Enterprise and Opportunity’ where local entrepreneurship is supported and thriving and more new businesses are choosing to call the Isle of Man home. We are starting to see this growth in a number of areas and the Department will continue to nurture an ecosystem where individuals and businesses can reach their full potential.’
Key observations from the report:
- Unemployment continued to fall in March and the subsequent April Labour Report shows unemployment dropping further to 1.1% and an increase in job vacancies, with 1017 notified to the JobCentre in April. The Department is working closely with the Department of Education and Children to encourage skills development in growth areas and is also looking at initiatives to attract more skilled workers, including reviewing the existing work permit system.
- The Department is in advanced talks with a number of manufacturers about their ambitions expansion plans.
- While the Island’s banking sector continues to face consolidation, the first shoots of growth appeared this quarter with two new banking licences made via the new Alternative Banking Regime to the Financial Services Authority.
- Applications have been successfully processed for the £50m Enterprise Development Scheme, with £1.2m now invested.
- The e-Business sector, including e-Gaming, continues to strong growth and demand for skilled workers, with 38 approved e-Gaming licence holders and a further six pending. There is also growth in the number of jobs in this sector, with the figure rising this quarter.
- Through continued commitment to exceptional customer service, the Isle of Man Ship Registry has reached an all-time high position of 12th on Clarkson’s World Rankings and is now the 3rd fastest growing flag in the world.
- The Aircraft Registry is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and continues to grow its register despite global financial uncertainties, reaching more than 935 registrations to date.
- The construction industry continues to show increased demand for skilled workers and the Department is looking at various options to alleviate the need. This need for skilled workers runs beside the overall unemployment figures which include a high number of unskilled workers.
- The Department has recently announced the fiscal terms for the upcoming hydrocarbon licencing round with the intention to announce the round this summer.
- The tourism industry is gearing up for a busy TT and is making strides in the development of this year’s British Cycling event with the recent announcement of the courses for the Time Trail and National Championship.
The Minister added:
‘Next week’s ISLEXPO is the perfect opportunity for local people to find out more about the future of the Island’s economy, meet with the Department, hear more about the opportunities available and discover interactive training sessions and workshops. The event is a true showcase of the Isle of Man as an Island of Enterprise and Opportunity and I’d encourage ’
The Isle of Man Quarterly Report on the Economy is produced by the Cabinet Office’s Economic Affairs team. It is available online at www.gov.im/about-the-government/government/the-council-of-ministers/comin-reports/.
For more information on ISLEXPO, please visit www.islexpo.com.