St Helena’s Labour Market Strategy – Update, September 2021

St Helena’s Labour Market Strategy 2020-2035 (LMS) was introduced on 1 January 2020 to improve labour market outcomes, increase St Helena’s population and prepare the workforce to achieve the vision of the Sustainable Economic Development Plan. The LMS identifies programmatic targets that will be reviewed every six months as well as indicator data that will be reviewed annually.

In the first 18 months since the LMS was introduced, one-third of the targets have been completed. This includes:

  • A vetting process now allows candidates with previous convictions or dismissals to be hired following a risk assessment
  • Customs duty and tax policies have been revised to level the playing field between public sector and private sector employees – for instance all individuals arriving to St Helena to live or work are now eligible for the same duty exemptions with regards to personal and household effects
  • The St Helena Government (SHG) employment application now includes a section called ‘Qualified by Experience’ that allows individuals who lack formal qualifications to be short-listed for interviews on the basis of their experience.

Further to the completed one-third of the total 50 targets, significant progress has been made towards completing an additional 23.

Complementary programmes and policies, such as work to increase the Minimum Wage, have also moved forward in the spirit of the LMS.

Pay

  • In March 2021, Executive Council approved a Minimum Wage Policy that sets a path to a more ambitious Minimum Wage, benefitting workers and providing adequate time for businesses to plan and adapt:
    • This will ensure that the lowest paying full-time job on St Helena is sufficient to achieve a socially acceptable standard of living – essentially setting a living wage for St Helena
    • A timetable for achieving the target Minimum Wage will be approved and published as part of consultations for the 2022 Minimum Wage increase.
  • SHG is undertaking a pay and allowances review to identify and address factors that lead to real and perceived inequities in compensation
  • Customs duty and tax policies have been revised to level the playing field between public sector and private sector employees.  In particular, all individuals arriving to St Helena to live or work are now eligible for the same duty exemptions.

Opportunity

  • This year, Career Access St Helena will open to the public. Career Access St Helena will centralise all employment-related resources on St Helena and provide support not only to those who are unemployed, but St Helena residents at every stage of their career and every level of ability
  • The SHG employment application now includes a section called ‘Qualified by Experience’ that allows individuals who lack formal qualifications to be short-listed for interviews on the basis of their experience
  • A vetting process now allows candidates with previous convictions or dismissals to be hired following a risk assessment
  • Where a Public Service vacancy can’t be filled on-Island it is advertised internationally.  Saints who are overseas residents can apply and if they are successful will be paid the full international salary and allowances as advertised. Data from 1April 2018 to 31 March 2020 shows that when Saints from overseas apply they are usually successful (during that period there were 114 international vacancies advertised, five applications were received from Saints overseas and out of those five, four were appointed).  This shows there is more work to do to attract Saints overseas to apply, as out of 800 applicants across the 114 vacancies only five were from Saints overseas.  Further data is being compiled and this is an area that the Public Service will be working closely with Career Access St Helena on.

Plans for the Future

  • The Shortage Occupation List is updated annually based on employer feedback to help understand the needs of the Island. This is used to assist with Careers Planning by the Education, Skills & Employment Portfolio, as well as informing immigration when providing work permits
  • Careers education will be informed by all available data – the Shortage Occupation List, 2021 Census information on skills and employment, Sustainable Economic Development Plan and employer workforce planning – to ensure students are preparing for the jobs St Helena will need in the future
  • The St Helena Community College has offered IT courses in preparation for the fibre optic cable connection and digital careers will continue to be a new focus for careers education going forward.

Notes to Editors

In December 2019, Executive Council endorsed St Helena’s Labour Market Strategy: 2020 – 2035 (LMS) to take effect from 1 January 2020.

The LMS included 50 programmatic targets – each a step toward achieving the LMS vision of creating a labour market that:

  • Meets the needs of St Helena
  • Is competitive but fair
  • Rewards hard work and incentivises aspiration
  • Develops a workforce that is capable, flexible and resilient; and
  • Provides a strong foundation on which to build the economy of tomorrow.

#StHelena #LMS #Update

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SHG

22 September 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh