Skills Strategy aims to prepare Jersey’s workforce for the future

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

A broad-ranging strategy is launched today to help Jersey people develop skills for successful careers and support the Island’s economic growth.

The document, called Skills for Success, has been produced by the Skills Executive, a body that brings together the Ministers of Education, Sport and Culture, Economic Development and Social Security. Their strategy aims to ensure the Island is well-placed to meet the requirements of current and emerging labour markets. Its objectives are:

  1. Ensure our children enjoy the best start possible and prepare our young people to make a positive contribution to the Island;
  2. Encourage lifelong learning and equip individuals with the skills that Jersey needs;
  3. Align opportunities for skills development with the needs of current and emerging labour markets;
  4. Tackle unemployment and help people gain a foothold in the labour market.

The current Chairman, Deputy Patrick Ryan, said: “As the three Ministers most closely involved with the challenges relating to employment, we know that skills development is essentially about people; helping them to gain meaningful work, achieve their career goals and improve their lives.

“We want to provide better opportunities for everyone to improve their skills and in doing so to encourage innovation, creativity and increase productivity.”

The Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, said: “Learning and skills development is critical for individuals and the community. They are vital to the future of our Island if we are to stimulate sustainable economic growth. To ensure that Jersey has a skilled population and an economy that makes productive use of these skills we need to focus on the four key objectives set out in the Strategy.”

Practical steps proposed in the strategy include:

  • Commission a feasibility study into the creation of a 14-19 skills centre;
  • Expand research to provide a more a more accurate and timely picture of current and emerging demands;
  • Work with school leaders to recruit  and retain the best teachers and to ensure they have high quality professional development;
  • Ensure States departments coordinate work for 0 to 5 year olds to promote strong early development;
  • Review the structure of secondary education to ensure it meets our aspirations for young people;
  • Target additional resources towards pupils who are falling behind and not reaching sufficient standards in literacy and numeracy;
  • Promote basic skills programmes for adults and the general public;
  • Promote support for employers to train their staff;
  • Identify leadership and management skills gaps across local industries and possible solutions;

Social Security Minister Senator Francis Le Gresley added: “Skills are essential for sustainable economic growth, personal success and a strong, cohesive community. For individuals, skills can lead to more satisfying and rewarding work, transform lives and drive social mobility. This in turn benefits society. Higher skilled workers positively influence productivity, earn higher wages, pay more taxes and need less support.”

Skills for Success has been developed to complement the Enterprise Action Plan, the Financial Services Policy Framework and the Back-To-Work initiatives that have been successful in helping many people find jobs in a challenging economic environment. It provides strategic direction for the work of States departments, training providers and the Skills Board, the employer-led body that advises the Skills Executive.

The funding required for the measures outlined in the strategy will be considered as part of the next Medium Term Financial Plan, which will be subject to States Members’ approval.

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