THE 21 Senatorial candidates began their campaigning in earnest at St Clement’s Parish Hall last night.
Just over 150 people crowded into the building for the first of the parish hustings meetings.
St Clement Constable Derek Gray squeezed in six questions into the two-hour meeting by asking candidates to answer three questions at a time in two 90-second sessions.
THE candidates were asked for their opinions on work permits being introduced in Jersey.
Mr Le Clercq said that if work permits were introduced, they would need to have conditions.
Mr Walsh said that he was in favour of work permits but they would need to be supported by police, medical and financial checks.
Deputy Breckon said that Jersey already had an opportunity law in place but it was rarely invoked.
Mr Pashley said that Jersey could possibly introduce green cards but that it should ensure that this did not let serious or violent criminals into the Island.
Mr Le Marquand said that there were huge advantages for criminal justice by keeping certain people out of the Island.
Mr Wimberley gave his op-inion that more Islanders should be trained to fill local positions rather than relying on J-categories.
Deputy Ferguson said that Guernsey already had work permits and it was time for Jersey to revisit the issue.
Deputy Southern said that he couldn’t support work per-mits because they would not work in Jersey.
Mr Tadier said that he was coming round to the idea of work permits and that the Island should not use housing qualifications as an immigration policy.
Mr Forskitt said that he felt that work permits could raise problems for Jersey people travelling elsewhere to work.
Mr Le Cornu ran out of time to answer the question.
Senator Ozouf said that work permits would not work in Jersey because of EU regulation.
Senator Routier said that he had received calls from frustrated businessmen who were disgruntled about the J-category system.
Mr Pitman pointed out that human rights issues would make it difficult for work permits to be successful in Jersey.
Mr Perkins said that work permits would protect jobs for locals and that the regulation of undertakings currently did so.
Mr Maçon said that he would support a visa system in Jersey, similar to one used in Canada.
Mr Higgins said that we had to address the need for training programmes and asked why Highlands had scrapped its business and management department.
Senator Vibert said that work permits would not work in Jersey and that new employment controls were already planned for the Island.
Deputy Troy added that work permits would only increase bureaucracy.
Deputy Maclean said that work permits would not work. He supported local people working in local jobs and welcomed the new skills focus in the Island.
Mr Palmer said that he didn’t think that there was much need for work permits in the Island because there was near full employment.