WHEN I sat down to write this, my last Chairman’s Report, I was under the impression 2016 had been relatively quiet year with the exception of course of the election in April.
However looking at many items of correspondence it became clear that the Confederation of Guernsey industry had been busy representing the interests of its members and the Island in general in many different forms.
Early in 2016 The States of Guernsey had formed what was known as Economic Engagement Forum. This consists of a group of representative from many of the Island's business sectors and through this forum we are continuously updated on the performance of the island’s economy and all the factors which affect it.
Obviously in June one of the key topics was the U.K.’s decision to withdraw from the EU. Guernsey was well prepared in advance for which ever outcome resulted from the referendum.
With the new assembly came ideas and suggestions from some of the new committees. One of these was the suggestion that GST should be introduced on the cost of legal services. Due to pressure exerted by the G4 of which the CGI is a member, this suggestion was withdrawn by the Minister for Economic Development.
The CGI have attended a number of meetings with Blue Islands, Aurigny, and consumer meetings with Condor. Each company has endeavoured to address its shortcomings but connectivity with the other islands and with the UK still falls short of the requirements of business, tourist and domestic travellers.
Work on CSR initiatives continued to progress with computer coding clubs being formed at St Martin’s and Castel Primary Schools. We thank Fultura Ltd for providing technical support that enabled these clubs to be formed. The computer clubs in the high schools continue to flourish and we shall continue to support them as appropriate.
The Guernsey School of Popular Music approached the CGI in early 2016 for support to provide after-school tuition services for students wishing to learn to play stringed and keyboard instruments. With help from the Confederation of Guernsey Industry, various obstacles have been overcome and clubs are now flourishing in two High schools.
The Confederation of Guernsey Industry mentored a sixth form student from the Grammar School in connection with his technology project.
This was very successful and Jack Taylor, the student, is now enjoying a five year apprenticeship with Jaguar Landrover Ltd in the UK.
Guernsey faces many challenges to meet the aspirations of P and R's ’happy and more economically viable island.’ The CGI will continue to represent the interests of its members wherever possible now and in the future.
This is my last report as Chairman of the CGi and I would like to thank all of you for the advice and support that I have received over the last three years.