Saints attending the annual Reading Sports day in the UK will be encouraged to consider moving back to St Helena to be part of its hoped-for economic transformation.
Matthew Joshua of the Saint Connect project is heading for UK to attend the Bank Holiday weekend event, run by the St Helena Association.
All are welcome at the session between noon and 6pm at Longs Bar in Victoria Road, Old Town. Appointments can be booked by emailing email@example.com, or by leaving a message on the Saint Connect Facebook page.
Attracting St Helenians back to the island is seen as vital to its economic transformation: either to fill skilled jobs in the tourism industry once its airport opens in 2015, or to set up businesses to help establish a private sector economy.
The island’s Sustainable Development Plan says: “Retaining our smartest and brightest has been difficult in the face of better employment prospects overseas.
“The island wants to create the environment for a large number of Saints, who have gone overseas to try and improve their quality of life, to come home. Improving the standards of living, through real wage growth and better public services, is vital.
“St Helena can make itself a more attractive place to live by building an economy with real prospects for the people living here to make a better life for themselves.”
Enterprise St Helena has warned that Saints need to seize the opportunities presented by the airport before outsiders move in.
Another reason why Saints will not return is they have a better life in the UK and elsewhere. Employment protection; equal pay; Freedom of Information; health & safety. Why give up all of these to come back?
– John Turner, St Helena
Random Thoughts from Offshore – blog