Individuals wishing to undertake further training that will increase their skill set in the workplace can now apply for financial support through a new initiative launched by Skills Jersey this week.
The ‘Skills Accelerator’ scheme has been designed to provide financial assistance to allow employees of SMEs, to access training that that will make a difference to the viability or diversification of their employer’s business. This can include support for personal development, vocational/specialist training or training for employees looking to progress to a new role.
Successful applicants will be offered a grant of up to 75% of the total balance towards their training costs, with a maximum of £5,000. As part of the offering, if the training is off-Island, a maximum of 10% of the total grant can be used to off-set associated travel and accommodation costs.
The Scheme supports the States of Jersey’s aims of encouraging innovation, diversification and workforce development within Jersey businesses through providing support for specialist training in areas such as IT and finance, as well as customer relations, leadership and management.
Funding for the Skills Accelerator scheme is budgeted at around £500,000 over the next three years. Senator Alan Maclean, Minister for Economic Development, commented on the new scheme:
“It is imperative that when the economy begins to improve that individuals, within businesses, have the requisite skills to meet customer needs and make a full contribution towards economic growth. History has shown, that by not investing in developing new skills during periods of downturn that businesses are slow to respond as the economy recovers. Clearly, to ensure this doesn’t happen, there is a need to focus on Jersey’s workforce and give local employees, and the businesses they work for, the support they need to obtain specialist skills, knowledge and expertise in order to be ready to expand existing markets and seize new opportunities, when economic conditions allow. This, in the longer term, will reduce the dependence of importing skilled labour, which is one of the priorities for the States.
“The Skills Accelerator scheme is an exciting development that we believe can genuinely help in boosting the skills of hardworking people in Jersey and in turn give local businesses a strong foundation on which to grow and explore new, innovative areas.”
In order to be eligible for the scheme, applicants must have been resident in Jersey for at least five years and applications must be accompanied by a supporting business case from their employer. Further information about the Skills Accelerator and how to apply can be found on the States of Jersey Website at www.gov.je/SkillUp.