Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo

EMPLOYMENT AND LEARNING COMMITTEE

PRESS RELEASE

3 February 2010
E&L 02/09/10

TALENTS OF NORTHERN IRELAND’S YOUNG MUST BE USED

We must use the talents of all our people to ensure a vibrant economy and society. That’s the message from the Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning which hosted an event looking at the issue of young people and education and training.

This event was designed to look at why some 40,000 of our young people find themselves disengaged from training and employment (the so called NEETS—not in education, employment and training) and to look at ways of addressing these issues.

Chairperson of the Assembly’s Employment and Learning Committee, Sue Ramsey, MLA said: “We need to establish why these young people are falling through the cracks and what sorts of techniques are working to get them into training and education.Crucially, we need to address the weaknesses in our system, which cause so many of our young people to become disengaged from the mainstream.”

The Committee has already carried out a great deal of work, alongside the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) to improve the provision of professional and technical training for young people.

In 2009, the Committee published a Report into its Inquiry into the way forward for Apprenticeships and DEL has pledged to implement the bulk of the Committee’s recommendations when the ApprenticeshipsNI programme, which is designed to provide alternative pathways into technical careers, comes up for re-negotiation and renewal.

Sue Ramsay said: “The Committee and the Department are working closely together to make ApprenticeshipsNI a flagship programme. In conjunction with business and the colleges, we want to make apprenticeships an exciting and open-ended career option. An apprenticeship should and must be seen as a worthwhile alternative to a university degree. The Committee believes that this will be a key way of getting young people who fall into the NEET category back on track.”

ENDS
Notes to the Editor:

The Committee Chairperson is Ms. Sue Ramsey MLA

Committee members:
Mr. Jonathan Bell MLA
Mr. Paul Butler MLA
Mr. Trevor Clarke MLA
Rev. Dr. Robert Coulter MBE MLA
Mr. David Hilditch MLA
Mr. William Irwin MLA
Ms. Anna Lo MLA
Mr. David McClarty MLA
Mrs. Claire McGill MLA
Mr. Pat Ramsey MLA

Media enquiries should be addressed to:

Ms Debra Savage
Northern Ireland Assembly Communications Office
Telephone – 028 90 521405/521137
Mobile: 07920 864221
Email – Debra.Savage@niassembly.gov.uk
info.office@niassembly.gov.uk

Pictured at the event are (l-r) Geordie Bingham (Dr Bís Kitchen), Clare McCaughey (Dr B's Kitchen), Sue Ramsey (Chair of the Employment and Learning Committee), Jessica Smyth (Princeís Trust) and Nichola Laffin (Dr B's Kitchen).

Pictured at the event are (l-r) Geordie Bingham (Dr B’s Kitchen), Clare McCaughey (Dr B's Kitchen), Sue Ramsey (Chair of the Employment and Learning Committee), Jessica Smyth (Prince’s Trust) and Nichola Laffin (Dr B's Kitchen).