Launched by Skills Jersey in September 2013, the Skills Accelerator grant scheme, which provides funding for employees of local businesses to undertake training, has received its 100th application.
Successful applicants are offered a grant of up to 75% of their total training cost – to a maximum of £5,000 – and each organisation is eligible to receive three grants per year. The response to the scheme indicates that local businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity to carry out a range of training, ensuring that their employees have the requisite skills to meet customers’ needs.
Commenting on the success of the initiative, the Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, said: “I’m delighted that the Skills Accelerator has seen such a positive response, and I’m encouraged to see local businesses undertaking such a breadth of training. As the economy begins to show signs of recovery, it’s important that the Island’s workforce has the necessary skills to make a full contribution to economic growth, and I hope to see more organisations making use of this initiative in the coming months.”
In line with the States of Jersey’s aims to encourage innovation, diversification and workforce development within Jersey businesses, the scheme has provided support for a range of training, from specialist, industry-specific qualifications to courses in areas such as IT, customer relations, leadership and management.
Speaking about her experience of the Scheme, Sarah Peel, director of local visual therapy company VisionWorks, said: “The Skills Accelerator was extremely easy to apply for. I was impressed with the speed with which my application was processed and with the guidance I received along the way from their staff. They really couldn’t have been more helpful.
“I would urge any small business that needs to train up staff, but lacks the funding, to look into this scheme. The benefits to VisionWorks have been many, not the least of which is that we can see more patients each month.”
In order to be eligible for a Skills Accelerator grant, applicants must be able to demonstrate their residential status, and organisations must have been trading for a minimum of six months. Further information about the Skills Accelerator and how to apply can be found on the States of Jersey website: www.gov.je/SkillUp