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Skills Guernsey was established in the spring of 2013, created to formulate a Skills Strategy for the island of Guernsey.
Why are Skills Important for Guernsey?
The requirement for a strategic approach to skills is now globally acknowledged. The OECD has been a particular leader in promoting the importance of this strategic approach. The opening statement in the OECD document, “‘Better skills, better jobs, better lives’ – a strategic approach to skills policies”, illustrated the importance of skills and skills strategies. The global economic crisis, with its associated high levels of unemployment, in particular among youth, has made the need to foster better skills even more urgent. Skills Guernsey has identified a number of issues that Guernsey’s businesses have raised as evidence of the need for a skills strategy and has highlighted the areas to address where current intervention and market forces are not sufficient. As a result, two overarching aims have been established for Skills Guernsey:
- To improve the skills of the working population, in line with the needs of employers in all sectors
- To increase workforce participation i.e. to enable everyone who is willing and able to find employment
The Structure of Skills Guernsey
Skills Guernsey is made up of two groups; the Skills Guernsey Group (SGG) and the Skills Guernsey Agency Consortium (SGAC).
The SGG provides political leadership, policy direction and has responsibility for the development, resourcing and subsequent activity of the SGAC.
The SGAC is chaired by Dr Elaine Monkhouse who leads the Consortium of representatives of the publicly-funded training agencies, business members and contributors from relevant States departments. The SGAC has responsibility for ensuring that strategy and policy for skills and participation in the workforce takes account of, and is allied to, the broader aims for education, social cohesion and economic development as expressed in Departmental strategies and plans and the wider States Strategic Plan.
Skills Guernsey Group Membership
- Deputy Allister Langlois, Chair (Minister, Social Security)
- Deputy Kevin Stewart (Minister, Commerce and Employment)
- Deputy Robert Sillars (Minister, Education)
- Deputy Mark Dorey (Minister, Health and Social Services)
- Deputy Heidi Soulsby (Member, Commerce and Employment)
- Deputy Richard Conder (Member, Education)
- Deputy Martin Storey (Member, Health and Social Services)
- Deputy Michelle Le Clerc (Member, Social Services)
- Dr Elaine Monkhouse (Chair of SGAC) (non-voting)
- Mr Ed Ashton (Deputy Chief Officer, Social Security) (non-voting)
Skills Guernsey Agency Consortium Membership
- Dr Elaine Monkhouse (Chair)
- Ms Saboohi Famili (GCFE)
- Mr Simon Le Tocq (GTA)
- Ms Tracey McClean (IHSCS)
- Mr Patrick Firth (Business Member)
- Mrs Fiona Naftel (Business Member)
- Mrs Karen Power (Business Member)
- Mrs Victoria Sloan (Business Member)
- Mr Greg Yeoman (Business Member)
- States of Guernsey Departmental Officers attendant for relevant items
The Current Work of Skills Guernsey
The first half of 2014 saw Skills Guernsey re-evaluate its priorities. As a result, Skills Guernsey’s present focus is on two workstreams: a Skills Gap Analysis and a project exploring Digital Wisdom for Guernsey.
Skills Gap Analysis
During July 2014, an island-wide telephone survey aimed at identifying the mismatch between the skills that employees have and those that are needed took place. The results of the survey and subsequent focus groups and data analysis will provide solid evidence on which to base future policy decisions.
Skills Guernsey’s aim to fulfil its vision for a digitally-wise island is: “to deliver the digital knowledge, capability and confidence that will provide economic and social benefit to the Island. [Its] aim is to have a digitally ‘wise’ society by 2018”. The Digital Skills Working Group has been developing a framework that will help in the development of all islanders’ digital skills.
If you would like any more information on Skills Guernsey, please get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.