Unemployment Up

The number of people out of work rose by 116 in March, the latest gov figures show. This gives an unemployment rate of 2.2% (938). The International Labour Organization, which measures unemployment in a different way, estimates that the unemployment rate is 3.9% with 1,683 people out of work.

Manx Youth Games

A highlight in the island’s sporting calendar, more than 1,200 children are set to take part in the Manx Youth Games this summer.

Now in its 20th year, more than 20,000 young people have taken part in the MYG since its inception. Children between the ages of six and 16 would normally have attended weekly training sessions in preparation for the Games on Saturday May 15 – but this has not been possible until now due to the Island’s coronavirus restrictions.

Parents and carers must register their child to take part by May 7 – and can select one of the 15 sports that include girls’ football, tennis, and for the first time BMX which will become an Olympic discipline in Tokyo.

Three-time UCI World BMX champion and HSBC Manx Youth Games Ambassador, Shanaze Read, said: ‘It is so important for children’s physical and mental health that they get involved in sport, especially after such a challenging year- so I’m really pleased that the Manx Youth Games will go ahead and give young people a great opportunity to be active.’

Santander

Santander International has unveiled a strategic review of its Isle of Man and Jersey business which will move the remainder of its operations roles that are currently in Jersey to the Isle of Man.

The majority of Santander International’s customer service and operational activities are already based in the Isle of Man, and the move would see the remaining operational roles (currently based in Jersey) transition to operate from one location. This would see the creation of 13 new roles on the island. As a result of the proposed changes, Santander International’s headcount in the Isle of Man will increase from 62 to 75. All staff have been informed of the proposed changes.

Managing Director James Geldart said: ‘The proposal to move all of our operational roles to the Isle of Man demonstrates our investment in the island and our confidence in the local market to build a talented workforce.’

Sophia Goulden

A bit of look into history as Culture Vannin today pointed out that Sophia Goulden died 111 years ago today. The mother of Emmeline Pankhurst, this Manx woman was a key influence on the beliefs and determination of her daughters to achieve female suffrage in the UK just over a century ago.

Happy Birthday Ma’am

Today marks Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann’s 95th birthday. A birthday message was relayed this morning in Tynwald to the Queen on the occasion of her first birthday since the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. It is thought she is spending the day with her family at Windsor Castle. 

George Floyd

US President Joe Biden has said the conviction of a former police officer in the killing of George Floyd ‘can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America’. But he warned: ‘We can’t stop here.’ Former officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, sparking mass protests against racism. He was found guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Sentencing is likely to happen in two months, and Chauvin could spend decades in jail. He is expected to appeal against the verdict.

Whistle Blown on Super League

Now a footnote in history, the European Super League is no more with all six English teams which were due to take part confirming they have pulled out of the competition. While Liverpool owner John W Henry has now come out and apologised to fans for his decision to try to take the club out of the Champions League and risking its position in the Premier League, the damage done to the relationship between fans and the boardrooms at the clubs will likely take a long time to heal.

More Accusations of Sleaze

Boris Johnson assured Sir James Dyson his employees would not have to pay extra tax if they came to the UK to make ventilators during the pandemic. Sir James, whose firm is now based in Singapore, wrote to the Treasury to ask for no change in tax status for staff. But in text messages sent in March 2020 – seen by the BBC – Sir James then went directly to the PM, with Mr Johnson replying: ‘I will fix it.’ The latest bombshell has ramped up the pressure on the UK gov which has faced accusations of inappropriate access and lobbying in recent weeks because of former PM David Cameron’s role with the failed financier Greensill. 

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