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Growing a skilled future workforce

04 July 2019

​Professors, business leaders and politicians will next week discuss how Jersey can prepare its future workforce for the next generation of challenges.

The inaugural Jersey Annual Skills and Employment Conference will bring together a high calibre of experts, some with global experience in developing education strategies and programmes, to look at the island’s shortage of skills and opportunities for lifelong learning. It is part of a consultation by the Department of Children, Young People Education and Skills to review post-16 education.

The keynote speaker for the conference, titled ‘Future Skills – Vibrant Economy – Happy Life’, is Tom Fletcher. A Visiting Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi and former foreign policy adviser to three Prime Ministers, Mr Fletcher chairs the International Advisory Council of the Creative Industries Federation, promoting Britain’s creative sector overseas. He is an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University, and an Advisor to the Global Business Coalition for Education and the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. In 2018 Tom co-founded The Foundation for Opportunity and has recently led a review on what skills the next generation need to thrive in the 21st century. 

Mr Fletcher will join Professor Chris Birch, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at University of Greenwich; Dr Lesley Dickie, CEO at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust; Jennifer Carnegie, Chief Operating Officer at Amicus Ltd and Non-Executive Director at Jersey Business; Senator Tracey Vallois, Minister for Education; Deputy Jeremy Maçon, Assistant Minister for Education; Mark Rogers, Director General for Children, Young People, Education and Skills; Tina Palmer, Director ASL Recruitment and Representative Governor at Highlands College; and Dr Wil Williams, CEO of Alacrity Foundation (UK).

The Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “I am delighted to join the headline speakers and expert panellists who have the global experience and world-class knowledge to help us shape the future of post-16 education in Jersey. 

“This inaugural, prestigious annual conference aims to bring us together to discuss the importance of skills development. The event is open to all islanders who care about the future of the island and its young people. We will be discussing the critical issues of the future shortage of a skilled workforce, the burgeoning digital skills gap, social mobility and routes for career progression, and lifelong learning. This is a first for Jersey and an event not to be missed.”

Among the topics discussed will be the value of higher education to the economy and society, how artificial intelligence might impact the creative industries and how we can all start to prepare, and which jobs will still exist in the future.

The Jersey Annual Skills and Employment Conference (JASEC) 2019, which will be compèred by Business Brief editor Gwyn Garfield-Bennett, is at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Wednesday, 10 July, from 11.30am, to 5.30pm. The event is free but islanders must book a place. To register and to find out more visit https://spark.adobe.com/page/p8gMDTR5SmMVN/ 

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