Zoo boss appeals to States to help staff who move to Jersey

Lesley Dickie: ‘The States must be more flexible with giving licences to people coming to work from outside the Island’ Picture: TONY PIKE (17390808)

THE States must be more flexible when issuing licences for people moving to Jersey for employment, the new chief executive of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has said.

Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce lunch, Dr Lesley Dickie said the zoo was struggling as tourism figures dropped but there were things the States could do to make it easier for the charity to grow. Dr Dickie, who started her role as chief executive in October, also said terrorist attacks in places such as France and Germany might make more people look at Jersey as a safe holiday destination.

Addressing an audience at The Royal Yacht hotel, she said: ‘The States must be more flexible with giving licences to people coming to work from outside the Island. We have a lot of young keepers coming to Jersey to work for us who don’t have family support here. They are on an £18,000-a-year salary, which restricts what they can rent and they cannot buy. That has to change for us to employ more young keepers outside of Jersey.

‘I have asked the States to look at this issue, as we need to get people from other zoos to Durrell to enhance our skills.’


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Comments for: "Zoo boss appeals to States to help staff who move to Jersey"

karaoke joe

Let them apply to Andium homes ,who will no doubt accommodate them. They could then apply for Income support who in turn will pay Andium homes the supplement. Or better still tell them to come over pregnant or needing surgery as we hear of the new health tourist .

Mr Sensible

Firstly I am appalled at the reason given by this new boss that we may get more visitors because of terrorist attacks in other countries, for her to think we could gain custom because of other people's misfortunes is misjudged, and appalling.

Secondly to start dictating on the islands housing problem when Dr Dickie has just practically got off the boat is also a mistake, there are hundreds of young islanders and other people who have gained qualifications as they have contributed to the island long enough who will wait , save , work to own a place of their own.

So stick to your own job, if you think your workers wages who only earn 18000 a year , give them a rise , after all your the boss now.


You obviously were not at the event - thats not how she talked about "terrorists attacks" - so need for you to be appalled "Mr Sensible"

She also talked about needing specialist people - that just are not currently available on island.

Mr Sensible


No I was not at the event , however my comments are purely based on what was printed in the JEP, it would be interesting to know what Dr Dickie did say, any idea on where one could get transcripts on line of her talk, or perhaps you could enlighten me more on what she did say as you were at the meeting thanks


I think it is disgusting to think that Dickie or whatever her name is thinks we should help these people who move to Jersey. There is a lot of local youngsters and local mature men and woman who would love a job working at the zoo. Train them up and that will be solved and Dickie will be able to go back to her own home?

Mickey Mouth

Not that easy to train up locals - most of the keepers will have relevant degrees.

Sotte Voce

That is a good point. It would be of interest to know if the zoo has any sort of sponsorship in place for Jersey people to study towards a relevant qualification.


A typical, very naive, very narrow minded comment. Dr Leslie Dicky is a word class expert, we are actually lucky to have her. She mentioned - that sometime Durrell "may" need some "expert" "specialist" help that simply isn't available on-island. Frankie.. Step into the 21st century, stop being so inward looking, and please, please catch up with the rest of us. Oh... and please stop with this "go back home" "these people" type of comments. Its embarrassing.


All very well asking for the States to help.

But what about training local people up for the Jobs.


Perhaps if the zoo were to pay staff a decent wage, based upon the cost of living in Jersey, then they may be able to afford to rent. The zoo sold off their lodging properties years ago, pay fantastic salaries to their white collar workers and then pay the keepers minimal wages, without whom the zoo would not exist!

£18k a year by the time they have paid their social and itis means they are not even getting MINIMUM wage for their fifty plus hours worked every week.

So instead of begging money off the States perhaps they should look to their own organisation to assist these people in providing basic living conditions.

Mickey Mouth

Maybe the Zoo should consider converting the many buildings they have on their site to staff accommodation. Hotels provide staff accommodation why can't they? Durrell's already gets a big chunk of public money, its about time they stood more on their own two feet, rather than expect even more special treatment.


The zoo/durrell will not last very long....even with Superman's help.

Kev c

Had us humans left the animals to look after themselves all those years ago we would not have this problem just a thought


The training centre which houses a hostel for 12 - 20 students and takes in students for the summer could turn into a hostel for staff? It is empty all winter. The foreign students could use the campsite for the summer? There is a very long waiting list for accommodation by Jersey families, I haven't heard of young single people entering Jersey qualifying for a one bed flat when there is a shortage of one bed flats for locals. Why should newcomers jump the queue. In any case they have to wait five years before they qualify for states housing like the rest. Rents are rising that even locals can barely afford a one bed flat!


Simply its up to the zoo to provide accommodation not ask for help from states.

spiritual warrior

Whilst agreeing that she is a specialist in animal conservation, she perhaps should have learnt about the culture in Jersey and the needs of others before making the statement. Durrell has " glammed " itself up with Superman and Take That now, so rather foolish to be crying " poor us." !


It would be helpful if all those applying to come here did undertake some sort of cultural awareness in order to avoid this kind of social gaffe.