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Skills Guernsey launches its new Action Plan for a highly skilled workforce

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Skills Guernsey today launches its Skills Action Plan, which aims to ensure that Guernsey has a highly skilled workforce which is well equipped for the opportunities and challenges of the global economy.

The Plan was developed through extensive engagement with industry and is informed by the findings of research into current skills gaps. It provides coordinated actions to ensure that skills development remains a priority in Guernsey, in order to support the skill needs of our business community.

The Plan sets out the practical steps to be taken by government, in partnership with the local community and industry, as it seeks to develop lifelong learning, digital skills, entrepreneurship, and employability skills.

Skills Guernsey is a States of Guernsey sub-committee that has responsibility for ensuring the development of workforce skills, supporting both the States of Guernsey's Policy & Resource Plan, and the States' Economic Development Strategy.

Chair of Skills Guernsey and Member of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Dudley-Owen, said:

"Skills are an essential part of every successful economy. They provide the basis for innovation and increased productivity.

"We know that automation, artificial and augmented intelligence are fast changing the landscape of work. This plan provides a structure where we can be responsive to the needs of business and our community as a whole. It is a plan designed to flex and fit the requirements of our economy. It will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is fit for purpose."

Deputy Dorey, Member of the Committee forEducation, Sport and Culture, and Skills Guernsey Committee Member, said:

"Education and learning does not begin and end in the classroom. The Skills Action Plan recognises this, and sets out an approach to developing skills that acknowledges that individuals' needs change as they make their journey through life.

"The Plan aims to put the individual at the centre of the lifelong learning process, bringing together the work of educational and training bodies, business and their representative bodies, and government. It is a truly joined-up approach to the development of the skills of the future."

The Plan has been shared with industry groups throughout its development, to gain insight from businesses and understand how they may be interested in working in collaboration with Skills Guernsey.

This has resulted in the following key areas of focus for the coming year:

  1. Continue to review and recognise industry need for qualified staff;
  2. Consider opportunities to establish life-long learning incentives in Guernsey;
  3. Support work to develop best in class digital skills, education and training;
  4. Look at opportunities to develop and enhance innovation and entrepreneurship in Guernsey;
  5. Ensure continued recognition of the importance of readiness for work, attitudes and employability skills;
  6. Support the Guernsey Apprenticeship and the identification and development of future apprenticeships and work based learning opportunities; and
  7. Close working with the Population Management Office to develop opportunities for skills development,

David Oxburgh - Chair of the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) said:

"In view of the many years of discussions and research on skills, GIBA is delighted that we now have a clear list of actions to be taken to ensure Guernsey has and retains a highly skilled workforce. We look forward to working with government and others in industry to focus on the actions which will meet the priorities in the identified workstreams.

"In particular, GIBA looks forward to contributing to the development of a financial services apprenticeship scheme and also to playing its part in encouraging our local graduates to return and join the island's workforce."

John Clacy, Chairman of the Guernsey Branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD), said:

"The island's businesses need to meet the opportunities and challenges that the global economy presents and we welcome the Skills Guernsey Action Plan. A skilled and active workforce is essential to Guernsey's long-term economic sustainability.

"The IoD has long championed the need for a coordinated approach to addressing the skills gaps. In particular, the IoD believes that life-long learning and re-skilling our workforce will become more and more critical as our traditional business models are disrupted through technology and regulation, and as the pensionable age begins to transition from 65 to 70 from 2020."

Barrie Baxter, Chairman of Guernsey's Chamber of Commerce, said:

"Guernsey Chamber welcomes the Skills initiative as a crucial piece of work to ensure that the island's business community is able to make an effective and valuable contribution to our economy. We recognise that all aspects of island life are inextricably linked to the broad success of the island. The rapid change in demand for various skill sets present a very real challenge and will require expert insight and efforts during the next few years.

"Chamber is delighted to be working closely with all of the relevant sectors to play its part in helping to prepare our workforce to meet the requirements and derive island-wide benefit from our rapidly-changing work landscape."

Clive McMinn, Chairman of the Confederation of Guernsey Industry (CGi), said:

"The re-launch of Skills Guernsey is welcomed by the CGi as there is evidence of a lack of skills at different levels on the island which need to be addressed.

"There are many sectors, including hospitality, tourism, travel and transport and care, that are struggling to recruit and retain staff. These sectors are essential for our economy, and need to be supported. The CGi welcomes initiatives to develop careers routes in these sectors, and looks forward to working with Skills Guernsey to consider opportunities to develop these concepts further."

A new delivery model of Skills Guernsey will also be implemented, ensuring greater engagement with industry and key stakeholders to ensure the key actions of the Plan continue to be driven forward.

An update on the work of Skills Guernsey will be published annually.

The full Action Plan is available from www.gov.gg/skillsguernsey.

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