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Lyon is launching a new skills strategy for Northern Ireland

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Lyon is launching a new skills strategy for Northern Ireland


Investing in the skills and talent of our workforce will help open economic prosperity to everyone in our society, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said today.

Louise Ward Hunter, Belfast Matt; Angela McGowan, CBI NI; Mark Huddleston, Makers Alliance; Minister of Economy Gordon Lyons; Gareth Hetterington, UU; and Barry Nilsson, CITB.

The minister spoke on campus in the Titanic quarter of Belfast when he launched “Skills for the Economy 10 Times”, the Department of Economics ’strategy to support more people to improve their job prospects and realize their economic potential.

The skills strategy is a key cornerstone of Northern Ireland’s broader 10-fold economic vision and sets out plans to focus on innovation by furthering further education in technical and vocational skills and transforming higher education towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) .

The Minister said:
“As we seek to accelerate economic recovery, our vision is to make Northern Ireland one of the world’s elite small economies. The skills of our workforce are central to achieving this goal.”

“Our local workforce is already talented, but it is important that we use and build on that foundation. Access to skills and talent is the number one issue for businesses in all sectors of our economy.”

“For every step up the ladder of skills that makes a person, the greater the potential reward. People with a diploma on average earn more than 50% more than those with low-level qualifications. By investing in our skills and talent, we will create more and better employment opportunities with greater earning potential for all.

“In turn, this will lead to a better individual well-being and a better society for all.”

The Minister continued:
“Skills for a 10-fold Economy” shows how we will provide significant skills growth in technical and professional skills through our colleges of further education.

“At the same time, we will strive to balance the qualifications of graduate and postgraduate students in higher education. We want to focus on STEM subjects, which are so important to provide people with the skills they need to work in the future.”

“The strategy will also tackle inequality by supporting people with low or no qualifications in overcoming barriers to employment and making the most of them. This is extremely important, as 13% of our working age population has no qualifications – almost twice as many. than the UK average. ”

In line with the recommendation made in the OECD study, the Department has also set up a Skills Council for Northern Ireland to provide effective advice on the development and implementation of skills policies.

The Minister added:
“The NI Skills Council brings together senior politicians, business leaders, educators and unions to provide ongoing advice and support as we begin the strategy implementation process. This includes agreeing to continue a nationwide approach to ensure a more cohesive, collaborative approach. to skills policy ”.

Jackie Henry, managing partner for staff and goals at Deloitte UK and chair of the Northern Ireland Skills Council, said:
“I very much welcome the publication of a new skills strategy for Northern Ireland. The local economy is evolving as Northern Ireland takes advantage of global growth in areas such as business and financial services, cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing. So it is important that we have people who own skills to take full advantage of opportunities that are available now and in the future. ”

Louise Ward Hunter, Director and CEO of Belfast Met, said: “The further education sector is a skills engine for Northern Ireland and will be central to supporting the government in implementing its ambitious vision set out in this new strategy for inclusive growth. .

An economy that works for everyone is an economy in which everyone can participate. Having the right skills is a passport to making this inclusion a reality. Investing in the skills and talent that will follow from the Skills for the Economy 10X strategy , will have a direct impact on our students as well as employers.

“Ready-made staff are central to the economic future of Northern Ireland, and Belfast Met looks forward to playing its full role in equipping students, stimulating innovation and transforming lives.”

Angela McGowan, director of the Confederation of British Industry, Northern Ireland, said:
“CBI is pleased to publish this week’s NI Skills Strategy. Businesses across Northern Ireland are telling us that access to skills is their number one priority.

“It is widely recognized that economic growth and living standards depend to a large extent on the quality and supply of the local workforce. This strategy aims to take Northern Ireland’s workforce to the next level by investing in youth, investing in lifelong learning and ensuring that the local skill set meets the needs of our economy ”.

“Skills for a 10-fold economy” was published following a 12-week public consultation on a draft document launched last year. The strategy is available at DfE website.

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