Politicians, business leaders and teachers were the focus of the recent IoD Jersey debate, with the island’s population policy, future skills and education system all brought into question.
The event, entitled ‘2050: Will Jersey Have Talent’ and sponsored by law firm Carey Olsen, sought to assess the measures available to Jersey’s government to maintain high quality education and standards against the backdrop of an aging population and funding challenges, looking in particular at population, skills, education and digital potential.
The debate explored skills shortages now and in the future, the opportunity for Jersey to have its own curriculum, the potential of a Jersey University, developments in Jersey’s digital sector, teachers’ value and pay, immigration, how attractive Jersey is for young people and also diversification of the economy.
The debate panel represented the corporate, digital, union, teachers and government sectors and included: Louise Bracken-Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Fairway Group, Brendan Carolan, Head of Social Science for Victoria College and President of the Jersey National Education Union, Daniel Rowles, CEO of Target Internet and Lecturer at Imperial College & Cranfield School of Management, Rory Steel, Head of Digital Jersey Academy and Senator Tracey Vallois, Minister for Education.
The event brought together over 400 business leaders, politicians, teachers and students to debate the topic. The new format, which saw broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE question the panel on stage whilst ITV anchor Jess Dunsdon engaged the audience in each topic and challenged their views, created a lively atmosphere.
Tim Arthur, former Creative Director at Virgin Money and Global CEO of Time Out, flew over for the event to deliver an innovative and captivating keynote speech. He talked to the audience about technological developments such as Moodies, Deep Fakes and Braindecoding. He eloquently spoke about the inevitability of change, the need for creativity and authentic purpose and the need for agility and evolution in business.
Commenting on this year’s Debate, IoD Jersey Chair Lisa Springate, said: “It is imperative that the island considers the best way to develop the skills needed not just for next year but for many years ahead. Furthermore, that we start preparing schools and businesses from all industries on what might be in store. The IoD Debate 2019 took on some hard hitting and emotive topics and the engagement in the room was highly refreshing.”