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  • Renewable Energy in the Falkland Islands

Immigration Review

A Migration Review was commissioned by ExCo to review the current immigration system operating within the Falkland Islands and to assess how immigration policies might be developed to meet the emerging and future needs identified through the Economic Development Strategy for the Islands.

The Islands has an ambitious future development agenda. The Economic Development Strategy, Rural Development Strategy, Tourism Development Strategy and the more recent Socio-Economic Study of Oil and Gas Development each identified immigration as a key barrier to delivery.  The Falkland Islands Census 2012 confirmed the limited capacity within the labour market compared with the 2006 Census; with a static population, a declining and aging population in Camp, a declining birth rate and almost a fifth of the working population holding more than one job.  An aging population also has longer term social implications.  The working age population supports society through payment of taxes which in turn provides for social and pensions services – a declining working age population presents the harsh fact of a reduction in ability to support an aging population.

The Review process included informal consultation across a range of groups within the Islands, including social interest groups (eg. the Women's Association), formally constituted bodies (eg. the Rural Business Association) as well as the Immigration Service, other government departments and MLAs. Not unexpectedly views varied widely according to individual experience and expectations of immigration.  Key points to emerge were:

  • Immigration to the Islands is needed, but not at any cost;
  • Need a cross section of migrants - families and well as singles;
  • Need to bring in the skills and workforce that is required to grow the Islands;
  • Work Permit process is administratively burdensome, particularly the approach to advertising and local preference;
  • Need flexible labour pool;
  • Approach to PRP right, but needs to be simplified – forms difficult to fill in;
  • Points system places greater emphasis on education and assets, which is not necessarily the right approach.

Specific proposals for changes to the immigration system were the subject of public consultation during August and September 2013. Results will be published following the 2013 General Election.

Minimum Wage

In 2013 Legislative Assembly approved the introduction of a Minimum Wage for the Falkland Islands. The legislation requires that employers pay workers over the age of 18 a minimum hourly wage of £5.05. For workers aged 16 and 17 the minimum rate of pay is £3.10/hour. These rates will be legally required from 1st December 2013 onwards.

The full text of the Minimum Wage Ordinance can be found by clicking here.

The Policy Unit will be publishing guidance notes for employers and workers in due course.

Living Wage

A living wage is the income that people feel they need in order to obtain a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. For the first time in the Falkland Islands, the Policy Unit is undertaking a project to determine what minimum income is necessary to meet an acceptable standard of living in the Falkland Islands.

Results from the research are expected to be published in late 2013.