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Chamber welcomes Tynwald’s backing for Skills Strategy | May 2024

28 May 2024

Isle of Man Government says the Skills Strategy is a key part of its ‘vision to deliver a strong and diverse economy and outstanding lifelong learning and development opportunities for all’.

The three-year plan sets several goals, including identifying employer needs and strengthening the opportunities available to gain and develop skills that are in demand. The long-term plan has been developed by a Skills Board which includes Government and business representatives and educational providers. The Board includes three Isle of Man Chamber representatives – CEO Rebecca George, Talent Action Group Chair Kelley Corlett, and Claire Milne who is a member of the Talent Action Group.

Chamber was the catalyst for the creation of the Skills Board. It stemmed from a growing frustration back in 2022 when members in all sectors reported difficulties when trying to recruit skilled employees. This was inhibiting business growth, affecting customer service and putting strain on employees. An initial approach was made by Chamber to the Chief Minister early last year, and since then a concept that could work for business, employees and government has been created.

Commenting on the Tynwald decision, Chamber CEO Rebecca George said: “This is good news for our members and all employers on the Island. Chamber has played an important role in the development of the board and the strategy and we are keen to continue our support now that it has the backing of Tynwald, especially in relation to gathering industry data and identifying future skills needs. With AI hurtling towards us, the need for unlearning, relearning and upskilling will be a key factor in future life and work. We need to support current businesses and employees to transition and ensure that those joining the workforce, or currently in education, can keep their learning and skills topped up throughout their careers.”

In a Government media release issued earlier this week Sarah Maltby MHK, Political Member for Education, Sport and Culture re-iterated this when she said: “As the skills landscape evolves, so must our workforce, to meet the needs of the economy. This important strategy supports lifelong learners so they can access the right skills and qualifications to meet existing and future employers’ needs.”

The Skills Board says the strategy outlines how a data-led approach will be used to identify skill gaps to help forecast future needs to support businesses and promote lifelong learning by developing new pathways.