Last updated: 11.09.13

Training scheme launched for Jersey businesses

Skills Jersey has launched a training initiative that is helping local employers improve standards within their organisations.

The Skills Accelerator scheme is looking to provide small and medium-sized companies with financial support so that they can access learning materials that will allow them to develop their workforce, reports Jersey Isle News.

Successful firms are set to be offered grants of up to 75 per cent off their training costs, worth a maximum of £5,000. It is hoped that the assistance will include advice on personal development, vocational or specialist training or sessions for employees seeking to progress to a new role.

Jersey senator Alan Maclean said it is crucial that once the economy begins to improve, individuals within organisations have the requisite skills to meet customer needs and make a full contribution towards growth.

"History has shown that by not investing in developing new skills during periods of downturn that businesses are slow to respond as the economy recovers," he added.

The expert explained that in order for this not to happen, the Jersey government must give companies the support they need to provide specialist training and eventually expand into existing markets and seize new opportunities.

Around £500,000 over the next three years is being ploughed into the Skills Accelerator scheme, which has been rolled out in accordance with the States of Jersey's aims to encourage innovation, diversification and workforce development on island.

To register for the programme, employees must have been living in Jersey for at least five years and all applications need to be supported by a business case from their boss.

Mr Maclean was quoted as saying: "The Skills Accelerator scheme is an exciting development that we believe can genuinely help in boosting the skills of hardworking people in Jersey."

This comes after a government training initiative in the UK was launched last week looking to help 350 British towns improve their high streets so that they can adapt to meet consumer demand.