A strategy to support the growth of the Island's economically active population will be presented to Tynwald by the Department for Enterprise this month.
The Locate Isle of Man Strategy 2018 – 2021 brings together for the first time a range of existing initiatives from across government and seeks to develop policy and promotional activity that will help to address the Island's skills gap, ensuring that the Island remains an attractive destination for people to live and work, and where businesses are able to recruit the skilled workers they require.
The strategy identifies 6 key themes and 44 actions to attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs and inward investment as well as encouraging Manx diaspora to return home.
Historically, the Department has established links to promote the Island's benefits to High Value Active Entrepreneurs and Inward Investment, and while this work will continue, the publication of the strategy now places significant emphasis on the attraction of skilled workers and graduates to ultimately support the natural increase in the overall economically active population.
Minister for Enterprise Laurence Skelly MHK said:
'Addressing the skills gap by growing the economically active population is a clear policy statement in the Programme for Government and regularly emerges as the single biggest topic of discussion, whether with industry or through the Department for Enterprise's Executive Agencies. In response to this feedback, the Department has outlined a clear direction for supporting the natural growth in the economically active population of the Island.'
'Our diverse, healthy economy has created an exciting opportunity for us to share with the world the benefits of living, working and doing business in the Isle of Man. Increasing the economically active population directly and positively impacts our Island by enabling our businesses to grow and creating wealth in the economy. Attracting, retaining and enabling new skills and talents within our workforce will ensure we have the services and facilities in place to continue our Island's success.'
'We have Manx people living in many countries across the world who are fantastic ambassadors for the Island. The delivery of the Locate strategy will also ensure they are made aware of the wealth of prospects available, should they wish to return'
While activity is identified to promote the benefits of living and working in the Isle of Man to a global audience, the strategy, which will be debated at February's sitting of Tynwald, also clearly highlights the importance of supporting the Island's existing residents who may be looking to re-enter the workforce, reskill or remain working for longer, by pledging to work with other Government Departments in a range of areas, such as reviewing the availability and provision of childcare, encouraging workplace flexibility and promoting and expanding on-Island training provision, in line with the Programme for Government.
Should the strategy be approved by Tynwald, the Department for Enterprise will begin immediate work on delivering the 44 actions that are identified for delivery during the life of the strategy to 2021.