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Conference to discuss "critical issue" of skills shortage

Conference to discuss

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Conference to discuss "critical issue" of skills shortage

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

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel between 11:30 and 17:30, the inaugural Jersey Annual Skills and Employment Conference (JASEC) will bring together experts in developing education strategies and programmes, to look at the island’s shortage of skills and opportunities for lifelong learning.

The free event comes as part of a consultation by the Department of Children, Young People Education and Skills into post-16 education.

In a document outlining the government’s ambitions to improve post-16 education for Jersey students, the Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, and her Assistant Minister, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, said one of the “challenges” facing this area is that Jersey appears to be lagging behind other countries when it comes to pursuing further or higher education.


Pictured: Part of the conference will focus on the value of higher education to the economy and society, how artificial intelligence might impact the creative industries.

The keynote speaker for the conference - entitled ‘Future Skills – Vibrant Economy – Happy Life’ - will be Tom Fletcher (pictured above).

A Visiting Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi, Mr Fletcher was a foreign policy adviser to three Prime Ministers and chairs the International Advisory Council of the Creative Industries Federation, promoting Britain’s creative sector overseas.

Last year, he 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. 

He will be joined by 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; the Minister and 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).

“This inaugural, prestigious annual conference aims to bring us together to discuss the importance of skills development," the Education Minister said. "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.

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