As we navigate our way through this period of unprecedented economic change, caused by COVID 19, we find ourselves increasingly at home and with time on our hands. The Easter period allowed for a period of reflection and respite and inspires hope that the current situation will improve and swiftly.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life – how will you invest the time? How will you invest the most precious and often scarce resource of time? We hope that the ‘new normal’ world of work will see a rebalance of work and life, greater resilience and wellbeing. We however recognise that the landscape has fundamentally changed. We will see a permanent loss of capital. A shift in the social narrative.
Despite best efforts, we have entered this period in an unprepared manner. Businesses will close. We will see a headcount reduction across sectors like we have never experienced before and a general economic contraction across society. Recession is likely. And, whilst this remains at the forefront of our minds, we must not forget that other external pressures that remain at play such as competition, changing demographics and a shifting taste in offshoring assets. That said, the economy will bounce back, over time, and we should be ready for the upturn. Investing in human capital today will reap multi socio-economic benefits in the short, medium and long term.
Bright Futures LBG is a Guernsey based Charity that aims to support Bailiwick residents to upskill or re-skill. It is critical that we all take this opportunity to appraise our skills and core competencies and assess if they are really future fit. To date, we have assisted a number of people in our community between the age range of 17 and 67. We have actively supported a number of social enterprise initiatives, proactively invested in access to an award winning early years app “Easypeasy” and have supported a number of people on their learning journeys. By far, the largest investment of time has been in mid-careers advice and guidance.
Whilst at home, and with so many excellent online learning solutions available, we should all take this opportunity to carefully map out what learning programmes; whether short vocational or longer academic, are essential for safeguarding our future careers and aspirations. Bright Futures LBG announced earlier this year that it would support the creation of a learner account for every Bailiwick resident in collaboration with FutureLearn. We are keen to get as many people in our community learning – we will all need to continually invest in our own human capital to remain resilient and competitive.
Modelling and analysis have allowed us to measure the impact of investing in learning. Improvements in (mental) health (direct and indirect), quality of life, social benefit and the ability to find employment has allowed us to demonstrate a wider wellbeing benefit. Whilst a longer time horizon is required to truly assess the impact of our philanthropic investments, it is absolutely clear that we have played a vital role in our community to date and that the need is likely to continue as the multifaceted shock of COVID 19 continues to unfold. We remain committed to contributing to the UN SDG 4 and 8 and remain in contact with our global associates to try and gauge the health, social and economic impact of COVID 19 such that a greater level of cross jurisdictional collaboration can take place to enhance the recovery period.
We need to change the way we think about lifelong education and learning and its importance in sustaining and growing our economy. There is a direct correlation between learning and holistic wellbeing which should remain a priority for all. Through raising awareness of the changing human capital needs of the workplace, removing funding barriers and offering an impartial professional multi-stage career mapping service, we aim to increase the economic achievement of individuals and consequently augment the island’s economy. The future economy will call for new capabilities. Those that invest to achieve such capabilities will probably succeed. Those that do not may find it difficult to maintain or secure sustainable employment similar to that which they have been so familiar and suffer a fall in quality of life and overall wellbeing. This is preventable if we act now.
COVID 19 has presented some challenges for us all. Please, let’s take this opportunity to pause and reassess. It is your skills and competencies that will ensure a bright future.
The infographic highlights some of the activity we have invested in over the past 23 months. We receive no government funding and genuinely committed to supporting our community through this difficult period.
Please contact the Bright Futures LBG team today if we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org