Tynwald backs strategy to plug skills shortage

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The potential impact of AI on business has been raised in Tynwald

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A plan to address a skills shortage on the Isle of Man’s skills shortage has been backed by politicians despite concerns it may be out of date.

The three-year plan sets out four goals, including identifying employer needs and strengthening the opportunities available to gain and develop skills.

But it faced criticism for lacking clear outcomes or recognition of the future affect of artificial intelligence (AI) on workplaces.

But Sarah Matlby MHK of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture said it would allow the island's workforce to "thrive in the rapidly evolving global economy".

'Key component'

While Mrs Maltby referenced AI while outlining the strategy to Tynwald members, Michelle Haywood MHK said the document did not recognise what the technology would do to sectors of the Manx economy, "especially our financial centre".

"I fear this document may be showing its age before it's even got started," she added.

Chris Thomas MHK also criticised what he said were "woolly" outcomes and a lack of clear budgets or milestones.

However, Kerry Sharpe MLC said it would be a "key component to the unlocking of this island's full economic potential".

The strategy was also backed by Chief Minister Alfred Cannan, who said the it was a "first class" example of business and industry working together with government.

Ms Maltby told politicians it "aimed at equipping our island's workforce with the necessary skills and competencies to thrive in the rapidly evolving global economy".

Collaboration with employers was "at the heart" of the strategy and stronger links needed to be formed between education and industry she said.

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