Posted Thursday 7th July 2016

Digital Jersey and Population Office Sign MoU in Support of Digital Sector

Digital Jersey and the Population Office have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a six-month pilot scheme to provide staffing permissions, both registered and licensed, to local businesses looking to fill technology and digital commercial roles.

Digital Jersey and Population Office Sign MoU in Support of Digital Sector

Digital Jersey and the Population Office have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a six-month pilot scheme to provide staffing permissions, both registered and licensed, to local businesses looking to fill technology and digital commercial roles.

This initiative is in response to the Jersey Innovation Review, which looks to address current skills shortages by removing barriers to digital businesses accessing the talent required to succeed.

Digital Jersey is well placed to respond to the unique nature of the emerging digital industries, and in doing so to better target staff where the potential value added is greatest.   

Digital Jersey will be able to provide businesses with confidence that allocated up to 30 staffing permissions from the Population Office over the next six months will be available as part of this pilot.

Local businesses applying to the pilot scheme will be required to submit application to Digital Jersey evidencing how the roles selected will contribute towards the growth and development of the local digital industry. Particular consideration will be given to industry sectors identified in the Digital Jersey 2016 business plan including fintech, Digital Health, Internet of Things and Jersey testbed schemes. Digital Jersey will provide the applications to the Population Office, who will deliver the licences that businesses need.

The MoU will support companies with strong potential to achieve productivity above the economy average or which offer significant wider benefits to Jersey. Licensed permissions will be granted to higher skilled/higher economic value staff, and registered permissions will be allocated where necessary to help ensure the business achieves a GVA above the economic average.

The scheme will be reviewed at the end of the six-month period.

The MoU is in line with the objectives set out in the States of Jersey’s Strategic Plan 2015-18, which seeks to “encourage economic diversification and improve job opportunities” and deliver “enterprise and innovation, increased productivity, economic growth and a better future for Jersey.”

The pilot also fulfils a number of recommendations of the Innovation Review (2015) which outlined that migration should be targeted to supporting innovation, prioritising entrepreneurial skills, STEM subjects, or the development of the leadership and management capabilities of the workforce.

The Innovation Review also outlined that permissions should be available for certain sectors on a pilot basis, and that government and delivery partners such as Digital Jersey should work together to achieve this, promoting Jersey’s image as open for business and as a location of choice for entrepreneurs.

The scheme aligns with Digital Jersey’s objective to strengthen Jersey’s proposition in the core areas of fintech, Digital Health and Jersey as a testbed, whilst demonstrating strategic collaboration with government and industry to ensure the growth of Jersey’s digital industry.

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey said: “I’m delighted to have reached this agreement with the Population Office to ensure business have access to the talent needed to grow our digital economy. The digital skills gap has been an area of concern for industry, and while Digital Jersey have been focusing on education and training opportunities, it is also clear that we need targeted work permissions to ensure we have enough skilled people in the short-term. This scheme is a fantastic step forwards, and will ensure that our digital industry continues to grow and diversify our economy for the benefit of all islanders.”

Senator Paul Routier, Assistant Chief Minister said: “Our aim is to target migration toward businesses which deliver the greatest economic and social value for Jersey. In an increasingly competitive and often uncertain world, we need to support our existing industries while also helping the low foot print industries of the future to develop. The digital industry is essential to our future success, and Digital Jersey has a depth of expertise to help us do this working with businesses. We will closely evaluate the results of this 6 month pilot”

Senator Philip Ozouf, Assistant Chief Minister said: “The digital industries are particularly reliant on the ingenuity and creativity of their staff; this is because highly skilled people enable firms to innovate at the same speed as technology is evolving.”    

“This pilot is part of a digital stepping stone towards a modern diversified economy, supporting a developing industry. Jersey must increase the size of its digital labour market, we must encourage the provision of on-island training opportunities in digital skills for local talent, and we must encourage graduates back to Jersey, to take up exciting roles in our emerging tech sector.”

Businesses looking to fill applicable roles should contact james.linder@digital.je in the first instance.