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Opinion & Analysis

Proud of our record on employment

By Gilbert Licudi

Our record on employment is one of the success stories of the GSLP/Liberal administration. It will be recalled that our Future Jobs Strategy was much criticised by our political opponents.

The reality has been that the FJS has proven to be enormously successful. Through it, the GSLP/Liberal administration has succeeded in placing hundreds of Gibraltarians, both young and not so young, in quality jobs.

Many have, through their employment, been able to turn their lives around, waking up each morning thinking that they had something to look forward to, lead normal family lives or be able to purchase a home.

We have reduced unemployment from 502 when we first came into office to 37 as at the end of the last quarter - a record low figure of unemployment since records began. In fact, this was the eighth consecutive quarter where the unemployment figure has been less than 100. This is not just the result of our policies but of the hard work and commitment of all the men and women at the Employment Service.

Not only has unemployment been reduced to record low levels, the total number of employee jobs in Gibraltar has risen to record highs. There are, in fact, around 8,000 more jobs now than there were in 2011. We have also ensured that the Minimum Wage, which the GSLP introduced in 1988, has gone up every year

We will continue to support those looking for work. This includes assessing individual needs and circumstances, matching skills, qualifications and experience to available vacancies and identifying possible future career opportunities.

We will introduce a new, more efficient service for employers and individuals. As part of its e-Gov project, a GSLP/Liberal Government will bring online for the Employment Service a fully digital interactive service for business and individuals allowing for direct administrative interaction and processing through its online platform. The development of these digital services will allow citizens and businesses to interact with Government systems in ways that have never been available in Gibraltar.

Employment services such as registration of vacancies or notices of terms of engagement, work permit applications and renewals and related payments will all be available online.

Our political opponents often incorrectly say that no training or apprenticeships are offered. Nothing could be further from the truth. Seventeen apprentices recently graduated with levels 2 and 3 craft skills from the Gibdock and Construction Training Centre. These apprentices qualified with mechanical, electrical, welding and construction craft skills.

In 2015, we introduced training for bus/coach, lorry and forklift drivers. Almost 200 individuals have been trained. There are apprenticeships in motor car maintenance being carried out. These were not available prior to 2012.

Our training and employment programme continues to deliver workers skilled in the areas that have been identified to date. This policy will continue and will be expanded into new areas.

We are proud of our record on employment. Vote for the 10 GSLP Liberal candidates.