Govt have today announced that 'it continues in its determined, daily endeavour to ensure that all Gibraltarians who actively seek employment find employment. In this respect, the Ministry for Employment and the Ministry for Economic Development are working closely together to identify gainful employment opportunities for persons registered as unemployed in the Employment Service.'

In its press release, Govt explain that 'one of the central objectives of the Government’s Approved Contractors’ Scheme (the “Scheme”) administered by the Ministry for Economic Development, is to support the Department of Employment in its task of finding employment for those who are registered unemployed. Approved contractors, as a condition of their contract to provide services to the Government, must recruit a certain number of suitable persons from the registered unemployed during the term of the contract.'

"All contractors have received a letter informing them that to continue participating in the Scheme, they are required to have all employees registered with the Department of Employment prior to commencing work and throughout the term of any contract. Furthermore, contractors will be required to employ a certain number of workers specifically identified to them by the Employment Service from the list of registered unemployed persons. This number will be unique to each contractor.

Further, all Government Departments have been asked to designate an officer responsible to monitor compliance by their Approved Contractors. The Department of Employment will begin to actively monitor compliance of the conditions of the Scheme and will, as from this week, carry out random inspections of all Government work sites.

It is important to highlight that, as a last resort, contractors that do not comply with the Scheme’s conditions will be removed from the Approved Contractors’ list and not allowed to participate until HMGoG is satisfied that the contractor will be in a position to comply fully with the conditions of the Scheme.

The community is reminded that the fully resourced Labour Inspectorate is available to assist both employers and employees and is a valuable source of information. During the Financial Year ending March 2016, the Labour Inspectorate, in its endeavour to curb illegal labour and ensure that meaningful employment opportunities are lawfully filled, have carried out a total of 767 Inspections, have attended to 87 complaints from the public relating to the none compliance of Employers with Terms and Conditions and have issued 31 Fixed Penalty Notices."

Commenting on the above, the Minister for Business and Employment, the Hon Neil F. Costa MP said: “Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is unwaveringly committed to decreasing the level of unemployment and the Labour Inspectorate will actively monitor that companies on the Approved Contractor’s Scheme are complying fully with the conditions of the Scheme, which includes the requirement to employ individuals who are registered unemployed. In parallel, we are also working to ensure that the registered unemployed attend the employment interviews that we arrange and that they take up offers of employment made to them. The Employment Service may supervise these cases to ensure that there is a synergy of interests between the Government, the employer and the employee. In this regard, my Ministry, the Department of Employment and I will continue daily in our efforts to identify suitable vacancies for those individuals registered as unemployed. 

It is fair to note that with the expansion of the economy under this Government, the level of unemployment has fallen, reaching the lowest recorded average figure ever of 204 in the second quarter of 2015. Further, it is critical to highlight that unlike the GSD when in office, this Government does not consider any persons as “unemployable”. A more offensive term is hard to imagine, even in the most challenging cases. It is significant to remember that in just one year of GSLP/Liberal Government, there were more Gibraltarians in full time employment than there were in 16 years under the GSD. We will, therefore, continue, unceasingly, the extremely important labour of finding employment for all of our citizens. For the individual securing employment, there may be nothing more important; for us, there is nothing more rewarding. I wish to publicly thank the sterling and tireless work carried out by the Employment Service and my Ministry.”