Campaign to attract people to move to the Isle of Man is criticised by some

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 8th June 2022 6:58 am
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Portrait of Central Douglas MHK Ann Corlett, a former Douglas Councillor. Both her parents served as Mayor of Douglas (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A new marketing campaign to encourage people to move to the island has been criticised by some.

The Department for Enterprise is using the ample number of visitors here for the TT fortnight as the target audience of their new campaign.

Banners have been placed around the island declaring ‘it all starts with a visit...’

It is hoped that some may consider moving here in the future.

Locate Isle of Man, a division of the DfE, helps to identify and fill any skills gaps by promoting the island as an attractive place to live and work.

The new initiative forms part of an ongoing major skills marketing campaign, and aims to attract workers from the UK and beyond to the Isle of Man.

pop-up

As a part of the TT campaign, Locate is taking an active role, with 31 ‘pop-up’ events planned across the island.

The Locate team, joined by volunteers from across government and industry sectors will be out talking to visitors at key local events such as Peel Day, Port Erin Day, and the Ramsey Sprint and are also greeting visitors during peak times at venues such as Ronaldsway Airport, the Sea Terminal, the Grandstand, and several famous spectator spots located around the TT Course.

But the ‘It all starts with a visit’ campaign has been criticised by some people who feel government needs to ensure residents’ needs are met first.

Ann Corlett MHK, the politician responsible for Locate Isle of Man, has said she understands the concerns.

She said: ‘We do need to relocate some people because the people that we’ve got on the island have not always got the skills that we need. But we have to absolutely balance that off with opportunities for people to reskill, to train.

‘We cannot concentrate on bringing people in alone.

‘We have to balance that off with the needs of our own island residents, and I’m very passionate about our island residents having those opportunities.’

She added: ‘We’re trying to fill the gaps that we need to fill now, and actually Locate doesn’t always fill gaps right now, [it] can be a long term aim for somebody to decide that they want to come over and it might be in the future, not now.

‘But we have to keep in mind the worries that our island residents have; about jobs, housing, those are the issues that we need to address.’

The DfE have launched a number of initiatives in recent months. In April, Visit Isle of Man outlined its ten-year strategic plan, which aims to grow annual visitor numbers to 500,000, with a subsequent economic contribution of £520m, by 2032.

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