Think Tank - Questions to Candidates

The Chamber Think Tank is currently working on a project to increase engagement from the Business sector in the General Election debate. As part of this piece of work, in July, we asked our members to take part in a survey to find out what topics are currently important to Business or may represent a challenge.

The results of this survey have been used to create the following questions which have been circulated to all standing candidates:

Question 1

Over 75% of survey respondents identified that recruiting suitably experienced staff was a challenge for their business. Other recruitment based challenges identified in the survey included:

• Recruiting Island based school leavers as majority of respondents felt that they do not have the right skills for their business;
• Finding on-Island staff to fill vacancies
• Up-Skilling their workforce.

How will you support Businesses if elected with this challenge to ensure that the Island does not face a recruitment crisis? What role will you take to ensure this challenge is considered in the next administration?

Question 2

Our survey identified that the majority of Businesses who responded had concerns about excessive or impractical regulation, including:

• Feeling that there is too much regulation and it restricts their company’s growth;
• The impact of “International Regulatory Creep” adds significantly to the costs and burden of the Business;
• Regulation was identified as one of the top 3 barriers to growth for their business.

How will you support Businesses that face a regulatory burden, noting that not all Businesses do? What steps will you take to ensure that the regulatory burden on a business is fair, understood and proportionate?

Question 3

When asked to rank the top 3 considerations that are most important to their business, the three most popular answers related to the Government:

1. A Government who listens to business concerns and addresses them properly;
2. A Government who focuses on long-term solutions and strategies in addition to short term solutions;
3. A Government that supports innovation.

How will you address these views if elected?

Question 4

56% of respondent businesses disagreed with the statement “my company will require longer term financial support to recover from the effects of Covid-19”.

How will you, as part of the new administration, ensure that Businesses who need assistance are supported through economic challenges whilst balancing the needs of businesses who may not feel financial support is needed?

Question 5

The majority of respondents disagreed that they had been positively affected by Brexit so far.

What steps will you take if elected (and as part of the new administration), to ensure economic opportunities like Brexit can be utilised and positively affect more businesses?

Question 6

There is a clear desire from the Business sector to engage in energy efficient practices, derive energy from renewable sources and reduce their carbon footprint. However, several challenges have been identified in response to this:

• The costs associated with switching to renewable energy sources;
• The availability of renewable energy sources;

If elected, how will you engage Businesses in climate change and sustainability related actions given the existing challenges?

Question 7

Businesses reported that their reasons for being involved in sustainability and climate change related actions including it being best practice, following regulations and that it is industry practice. They were least likely to be involved because they were following the Isle of Man Biosphere pledge or because it was necessary for the survival of their business.

How do you propose to support and enthuse Businesses to take more climate friendly and sustainable approach in light of the limited impact the Biosphere pledge has had on Businesses so far?

Question 8

Diversifying the economy was ranked the 4th most important area to Businesses. Additionally, many Businesses are facing recruitment issues and difficulty in finding school leavers with the appropriate skills or on island staff for vacancies.

What actions will you take if elected to ensure that the Island maintains a diverse economy which attracts new talent and ensures there are relevant sectors for returning graduates?

Chamber is strongly encouraging all its members to raise these questions in any conversations they may have with election candidates.