Jersey risks skills shortage if young people keep leaving the island

A young man on an apprenticeship
The government is focusing on apprenticeships to encourage young people to stay and work in Jersey. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Politicians in Jersey are warning that the more young people that leave the island, the higher risk of skills shortages across multiple sectors.

Jersey's director of policy, Paul Wylie, says when people leave the island to go to university they often do not return due to the career opportunities available to them in the UK.

He says: "If we do not find a way to entice our young people to come back and work then we've got a really big issue in the future for our dependency ratio."

In particular, Mr Wylie has found that those wishing to pursue a career in policy often stay in the UK to undertake training, leaving a shortage of new recruits in Jersey.

In response to this issue, Mr Wylie has introduced a new policy professional apprenticeship to encourage young people to stay in Jersey.

He says: "This scheme that we have got now allows you to solve the big problems - housing, cost of living - but right here from Jersey.

"The great thing about Jersey is you have got all the levers of tax, spend and making the laws right here on your doorstep."

In a speech last week (23 September), Chief Minister Kristina Moore announced the creation of a 'People and Skills Group' to "provide a central political forum for matters relating to population policy, the employment market and the skills needs of the island."

Whilst ministers are focusing on cost-of-living and housing issues, the problem of retaining the next generation of islanders is also high on their agenda.