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International Delegates Look to Northern Ireland Skills Sector

AN International conference was held in Belfast this week (October 16-18) to look at the Northern Ireland skills sector post-conflict.

It included delegates from Nigeria, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and South Africa, who were here to learn how Northern Ireland Colleges lead the way in TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) programmes.

The two-day conference, entitled The Northern Ireland Story: building a quality TVET offer in a post-conflict society, was organised by the British Council in partnership with Northern Ireland Colleges, and over two days, the delegates met with key employers, listened to government policy experts and visited independent training providing colleges.

Belfast Metropolitan College was the key conference site, with a welcome reception at their Titanic Campus on the Wednesday evening.

Speaking at the event was Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland.
He said: “The British Council is pleased to be able to collaborate with Northern Ireland colleges and showcase what we do best to an international audience. Northern Ireland has a strong reputation in the skills sector and by bringing together international experts, we can continue to make connections, share best practice and build on the post-conflict expertise in Northern Ireland. 

“This event follows on from our Peace and Beyond conference which was held in Belfast earlier this year to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement – and we hope through events like this, to enhance the post-conflict offer in Northern Ireland.”

Also speaking at the event was Damian Duffy, Director of Development - Belfast Metropolitan College. He said: “Belfast Met has for more than 110 years been at the forefront of the skills sector in Northern Ireland, driving improvements, opportunities and economic growth in the area. We were delighted to partner with the British Council this week to share best practice with and also learn from the international delegates.”

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. For more information visit or follow on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI

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