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10X Skills Strategy Launched to Create More and Better Jobs


Published: 27 May 2021

The College’s e3 Springvale campus hosted a visit from Economy Minister Diane Dodds yesterday, where she also met some of the staff and students from the Belfast Film and Television School during the launch of the Skills for a 10X Economy.

Our Level 3 Music students gave a very impressive performance which the Minister was delighted with, written by music student Simon Gervin, all recorded by the HND Factual TV students in the recording studio. Minister Dodds also spoke with a number of the students and lecturers about their courses and their plans for the future.

The strategy is a key pillar of the10X Economic Vision for Northern Ireland, which the Minister published earlier this month. The skills strategy outlines plans to focus on innovation by increasing further education qualifications in technical and professional skills and rebalancing higher education towards Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Speaking at the launch, the Minister said that investing in the skills and talent of our workforce is absolutely vital for economic success and the new strategy will support more people to improve their job prospects and fulfil their economic potential.

The strategy is a key pillar of the10X Economic Vision for Northern Ireland, which the Minister published earlier this month. The skills strategy outlines plans to focus on innovation by increasing further education qualifications in technical and professional skills and rebalancing higher education towards Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

The Minister said: “My ambition is to transform Northern Ireland into one of the world’s elite small open economies and skills are crucial to achieving this goal. I cannot overstate this.

“We already have a talented workforce but we need to capitalise on it. Investing in our skills and talent will deliver more and better job opportunities, greater earning potential, better individual wellbeing and, in turn, an improved overall economy.

“Skills for a 10X Economy’ sets out a plan to deliver significant growth in qualifications in technical and professional skills through further education. By doing this we will grow in the key strategic areas that are vital to our economic ambitions as set out in 10X Economic Vision.

“Alongside this, we will seek to rebalance graduate and postgraduate qualifications in higher education towards STEM subjects, which are so crucial for boosting innovation and equipping us for the jobs of the future.

“The strategy will also tackle inequality by supporting people with low or no qualifications to overcome the barriers to employment and making the most of their capabilities.”

The Minister continued: “I will establish a Skills Council for Northern Ireland which will bring together leaders from government, business, education and trade unions because I want to put these key sectors at the heart of our efforts to drive forward skills development.

“Delivering on the strategy will require investment and I will work with my Executive colleagues to secure the required support.”

Stakeholders and the public are invited to review the proposed skills strategy and give their views as it is launched for public consultation.

The Minister added: “I want to hear from everyone who has a view on what Northern Ireland’s future skills base should look like – please engage with the consultation and make your voice heard on how we can deliver better skills, better jobs and better lives.”
Members of the Department’s Skills Strategy Advisory Group have given the skills strategy their support and endorsement.

Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met, which hosted today’s launch, said: “I warmly welcome the consultation on the new skills strategy for Northern Ireland, ‘Skills for a 10X Economy’, in the context of the 10X Economic Vision. Belfast Met will play its full part in helping to deliver the ambitions of both. The FE sector is a skills engine for Northern Ireland and our learners, and the employers they will enhance as work-ready staff, are central to the economic future of Northern Ireland.”

The skills strategy consultation document is available in both summary and full-length versions here.

The consultation is available here.

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