Guernsey Press

Everyone is key to someone

WHAT, or who, is a key worker? It’s a question that a handful of deputies are wrestling with.


Go back to Covid times, and key workers include supermarket workers, some public sector administration staff, postal workers, even journalists.

In reality, it seems that we identify key workers now with the jobs we as an island are struggling to recruit for.

That includes health and care (both private and public sector), teaching, even the police – though, interestingly, nobody seems to be over-concerned about housing provision for police officers, and, indeed, teachers.

So key worker housing remains focused on the hospital, and positioning as close to the hospital site as possible, which, as Deputy Heidi Soulsby points out, gives rise to concerns that key worker housing is being established principally to house expensive agency staff, which we are trying to reduce our dependence on, by creating more key worker housing for the permanent staff we would rather seek to attract. Still with us?

The key worker focus has been sensible to an extent, particularly when it comes to developing sites near the PEH or sites which were already progressing.

But the island needs all its community sensibly and appropriately housed – not just hospital staff. As more housing sites start to be moved forward, so the focus needs to switch to doing more for ordinary islanders. After all, most of us are key to someone.