Unemployment Drops

There were 35 fewer people out of work at the end of March compared to February, giving a total of 262. The International Labour Organisation estimates this to be 707.

In March 1,242 job vacancies were notified to the Job centre, which is an increase of 152 compared to the previous month. At the end of the month, 1,149 remained. Of these, 58% (665) were full time positions and 42% (484) were part time.

Last month concerns were raised when 961 posts remained unfilled with the hospitality sector being the one with the most vacancies remaining.

Testing Centre

The new Vehicle Testing Centre will open for business on Wednesday April 27. Test centre staff are currently in the process of preparing to close the existing site on Friday afternoon (April 22) ahead of next week’s opening – they include vehicle and driving examiners, together with the licensing and parking permit teams, and administration staff.

All Vehicle Testing Centre services will be closed Monday-Tuesday April 25-26. The contact details will remain the same from Wednesday April 27, and any disruption will be kept to a minimum as the teams settle in. The new facility has a much more efficient layout, having been planned from scratch under a design-and-build contract undertaken by main contractor Tooms Bros Ltd.

Quiet Banking

HSBC is introducing a weekly ‘quiet hour’ across all of its branches in the Isle of Man and
Channel Islands to create a more calming experience for customers who may otherwise find
it difficult to visit a branch.

The ‘quiet hour’ will take place every Thursday from 10.30am to 11.30am to support customers
with sensory sensitivities such as autism, ADHD, dementia, anxiety and learning disabilities.

The branches will facilitate a more relaxing and enjoyable banking experience by reducing
background noise, turning off the in-branch radio and limiting noise from phones. Staff will be
available in branch during that hour but won’t proactively approach customers in order to
keep noise to a minimum. Private meeting rooms will continue to be available.

Alistair Philp, Head of Retail Distribution, said: ‘We want to make sure customers find our
branches as inclusive and accessible as possible, and a ‘quiet hour’ should help to reduce
potentially stressful distractions for people who may have hidden disabilities.’