Penelope Shurmer has been appointed as the next Executive Officer of the Jersey Employment Trust.
She succeeds Jocelyn Jacques, who for 17 years has been at the helm of the charity which helps people who have a disability or long-term health condition secure and sustain employment.
Penelope brings considerable knowledge and expertise of the Jersey labour market, employment and skills issues. For the last 12 years she has worked in the Government of Jersey developing and leading Trackers, the apprentice programme, and then bringing together Skills Jersey as Head of Service.
“I have had the pleasure to work with members of the JET team as well as users of the service at operational and strategic levels,’ she said. ‘I have developed strong relationships over many years across government, with employers and business leaders, and our voluntary and community sector both in and out of the Island.
“I have long-term persistent pain conditions so I am classed as disabled myself. I manage my condition well but know first-hand the importance of acceptance, adaptations, and good leadership to ensure that someone with a disability or long-term health condition can thrive in the workplace.
“It will be a privilege to lead JET and Acorn Enterprises to continue to deliver high quality services that adheres to the strong value base and ensures a significant presence in our community for years to come.”
At JET’s 20th anniversary conference on 26 April, JET chair Helen Ruelle said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Penny on board and we know that she is going to do a fantastic job in taking JET forward as we meet the challenges of the next 20 years.”
Helen also paid tribute to the outgoing executive officer, thanking Ms Jacques for her ‘unwavering outstanding service’ and her ‘transformational and inspirational leadership’.
“JET has been extremely fortunate to be led for the past 17 years by a truly remarkable and inspirational person,’ she said. ‘It is very difficult to put into words just how amazing a woman Jocelyn is and to describe the impact that she has had on this organisation, its staff and clients. She has touched the lives of so many people and will be remembered by them all.
“JET is an organisation with a culture of kindness, equality and passion, yet it is complex and is run with commercial acumen. Jocelyn has created a wonderful legacy, she has genuinely made a huge difference to people’s lives and is respected and loved by staff.”