At Digital Jersey we recognise a skills gap in the digital sector, and whilst we actively support the development of local talent, it is critical that in order to grow skills on island and to fill short term gaps, we import skills off island.
Licenced roles are more difficult to get due to a shortage in housing, but based on what we’ve seen and understood from industry, there are a number of actions employers can take to improve their chances:
- Prove the role is critical. Not just by writing it in a letter but by supporting your claim with evidence. You can get an edge through including predictive accounts, 3-year business plan projections, succession plans and evidence of future contracts that will be achieved as a result of the licence(s). Basically, the population office will need to identify value added to the business and the Island from issuing a licence; if they can’t, the licence won’t be approved.
- Prove the role is in short supply. If the talent exists already in Jersey, the licence won’t be approved. Employers need to prove short supply of skills, by showing they’ve tried to recruit locally for example with copies of ads (favorable applications would have advertised through Back To Work and Social Security). There is no specified time limit for ads but the population office would make a judgement on the number of people the ad would have reached and whether the ad is placed in relevant communication channels specific to the sector (the Digital Jersey website offers a job page). Digital Jersey can also help provide a letter of support to the population office with evidence of the key skills shortages within the digital industry.
- Prove you provide training and development to locals. The Island is keen for companies to employ local talent and not always import off-island. Applications that show evidence of training budgets and plans to train local staff will be seen more favorably, so it’s worth including in your business plans and forecasted accounts in your application.
Part of our work is to build the relationship between the digital industry and the population office, so we encourage employers seeking licenses for this sector to work with us. We can provide a communication link, and are fully committed to improving applications and increasing the chance of a licence approval for industry.
Ultimately, we are concerned with Jersey’s digital future, and want to make sure that talented people aren’t held back from building it!