Business people and politicians involved in a discussion on immigration have spoken of how important the issue is.

The Isle of Man Business Network is teaming up with ILS World to host the debate.

The motion being debated will be: ’This house believes that due to the island’s rapidly ageing population and historically low rate of unemployment, all restrictions on immigration and employment should immediately be lifted’.

Bill Shimmins MHK will propose the motion and Rob Callister MHK will oppose.

The second proposer will be Caren Pegg, vice president of the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce and partner at Appleby and communication and public relations consultant, Michael Josem will be the second opposer.

ILS World chief executive officer, Chris Eaton will chair the discussion.

Rob Callister said: ’Immigration is a critical issue for islands as people support local business, transport links and economic growth.

’They also require education, healthcare and housing.

’Discussing our population size and structure is therefore critical to planning for the future.

’I am happy to take part in this debate because I see through my membership of the Department for Enterprise the need for immigration to fill many of the vacancies that currently exist but I also realise this is not the same in all sectors and in some areas Manx workers still need the protection afforded by the work permit system.

’In simple terms I will be arguing to retain a flexible system that responds to changing circumstances.’

Bill Shimmins said: ’This has previously been a controversial issue but the stark reality is that the island must grow the young and economically active population.’

Chris Eaton said: ’Like most countries the Isle of Man has rising life expectancy and an ageing population and we hope this event will be a contribution to the ongoing debate on how to tackle this important issue.’

Chairman of IOMBN, Katie Nicholson said: ’The Isle of Man Business Network is delighted to once again be partnering with ILS for our annual debate.

’The motion being debated is highly relevant at this time and should provide for a very interesting evening.’

This topical evening will be held at The Palace Hotel on Wednesday, September 12.

Registration and a buffet will be available from 5.30pm with the debate kicking off at 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £13 for IOMBN members and £16 for non-members. Registration is through Eventbrite at

Source: IoMToday