You’ve never had it so good.

THE Department of Trade and Industry has helped create about 1,000 jobs in the Island, former minister David Cretney said. Mr Cretney, now in charge of the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, reflected on the department’s successes as it became the new Department of Economic Development following last week’s government restructure.

‘The DTI, working closely with colleagues in government as well as the private sector, has shown we can develop valuable new sectors which benefit the Island as a whole,’ Mr Cretney said.

‘As a result, the Island’s economy is stronger and more diverse now than at any other time. If DTI had not helped to attract the e-gaming, shipping, aircraft, manufacturing and other business that the Island has won in recent years, which collectively have created about 1,000 jobs locally, then the level of unemployment would be at least double the level it is today.’

The manufacturing sector remains the second largest wealth-creating sector after banking in terms of employment. Over the last five years, it has grown faster than the economy as a whole – more than 40 per cent compared with less than 29 per cent in real terms – generating over 200 jobs.

More than 100 jobs were created in the e-gaming sector last year, and brings the number of workers in the sector to about 550. There are now more than 20 companies with e-gaming licences.

In 2009, The Isle of Man Ship Registry grew by more than 10 per cent – over 1m gross registered tonnes – to a new high of 10.76m tonnes. It also registered its 1,000th vessel.

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry has now registered more than 225 aircraft and is the fastest-growing register of its type in the world, showing growth of 50 per cent over 2008. During 2009, the aircraft register helped to generate millions of pounds in new income for the Island’s financial institutions, lawyers and corporate service providers and valuable new jobs were created as a result.

Isle of Man Film has helped steer the Island in becoming one of the busiest areas of British film production in recent years. Overall, Isle of Man Film has been involved with the co-production and co-financing of over 90 films, television dramas and animation projects since 1995. In 2009, the DTI supported three productions and it is hoped that more will be produced in the future.

An internet shopping scheme was introduced last September to help local independent retailers, and now involves more than 100 companies. Research shows that the scheme has helped to generate at least £250,000 of additional sales to date through direct online sales and increased footfall conversion