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Action plan follows successful conference 21 January 2013

THE organisers of an Isle of Man Government-led conference held to address the issue of the employability of young people have produced a blueprint for the way forward.

Employers, educationalists, industry leaders and members of government attended the Employability, Productivity and Leadership conference at the Mount Murray Hotel and Country Club in October.

More than 150 delegates discussed how best to equip young people for the world of work in these changing economic times – an issue that is key to the prosperity of the Isle of Man.

The conference was organised by the cross-sector Employability Working Group, comprising representatives of the Departments of Education and Children and Economic Development, business and voluntary organisations.

The group has analysed all the hundreds of viewpoints aired during and after the event and has condensed them down to an action plan with four main aims – to further encourage employers’ engagement in education, to better tailor careers education and guidance, to improve work experience opportunities for young people and to find ways of better communicating job market opportunities to schools and young people.

These would complement the work already going on across Government to educate young people about routes into careers and assist those who are not in education, employment and training (Neet).

Annette Baker, Deputy Headteacher at Ballakermeen High School and a member of the Employability Working Group, said:

‘The fact that the conference was filled to capacity by such a wide range of interested parties is a mark of how important the issue of employability is across all sectors. We now need to continue work together to provide young people with coherent guidance and support as well as appropriate opportunities to make it possible for them to realise their ambitions.
‘The Employability Working Group, set up to promote a coordinated cross-sector approach, has now collated and analysed the feedback from the conference and is ready to convert its aims and objectives into actions and outcomes. ‘It was clear that many people at the conference felt strongly that there is a need for urgent action in this area to secure the future not just of our young people, but of our Island itself.’

Mrs Baker continued:

‘More work will clearly be needed to take this plan forward and bring about positive results, but conference delegates and Employability Working Group members have demonstrated that the will is there to work together for the benefit of our young people.’

The group is now engaging with schools in order to fully understand how to deliver a consistent, best practice approach across the Island to preparing young people for work.

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