Helping Islanders develop new skills will be important

Letter to the Editor from Max Andrews.

Just 25% of those questioned said they believed the economy was working for them (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (30513081)
Just 25% of those questioned said they believed the economy was working for them (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (30513081)

THE local economy has seen productivity decline steadily in financial services along with a level of productivity stagnation in non-financial services. In order for the government to rectify these issues there will need to be a change in strategy in the current economic model. PwC reported 27,000 jobs will be lost across the Channel Islands by 2035, with financial services and low-paid-sector workers being impacted most.

The government needs to accept in order to address productivity, entry into new markets will be essential for local firms to contribute to greater levels of productivity. However, which markets provide the greatest opportunities to enhance productivity? According to the World Economic Forum, leadership and social influence, technology use and monitoring make up some of the top-ten demanded skills for 2025. It will be for the government to decide the course of action to pursue a change in directive, but attention will need to be applied in terms of the markets, which will benefit local firms and the economy of Jersey in productivity and employment terms.

If the government fails to act, we will see a continued stagnation in productivity in non-financial services, along with a continued fall in productivity in financial services. Secondly, we will see structural unemployment become more apparent unless strategies to redeploy displaced workers are introduced.

Structural unemployment is the case where workers are displaced and, in moving into new areas within the economy, workers cannot enter new employment markets due to their individual skill shortages.

It will involve the government offering unemployed locals opportunities to reskill through training courses to enter new markets of employment with the requisite skills to avoid relying upon migration of skilled labour from abroad.

The government must realise entering new prospective markets will provide workers with new-found skills, greater opportunities and an increased likelihood of upward mobility in careers more desirable in the long term. We need to see a shift in migrating the local workforce into more productive areas in the economy to address structural unemployment once areas of economic production are identified and pursued.

51 Pomme d’Or Farm, West Hill, St Helier.

For more Letters to the Editor, comment and opinion pieces, see today's JEP.

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