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Engaging Employers and Developing Skills at the Local Level in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

image of Engaging Employers and Developing Skills at the Local Level in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

The success of skills development activities through both on- and off-the job training often depends on the participation of employers. This OECD report on Northern Ireland, United Kingdom identifies a number of innovative programmes that aim to better engage employers in the design and delivery of training. It also looks at the role of local district councils in working closer with employers to better understand and address their skills challenges.

A key part of the project was the implementation of a survey to gather information from Northern Irish employers about their skills needs and barriers to apprenticeship participation. The report offers a number of recommendations for improving business-education partnerships in emerging sectors of the Northern Ireland economy.

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Assessment and Recommendations

Northern Ireland has made significant strides to improve the overall engagement of employers with the skills system. The Success through Skills and Securing Our Success strategies implemented new initiatives to ‘put employers in the driving seat’. Achieving such ambitious objectives requires a responsive education and training system that prepares the workforce for the skills needed in today and tomorrow’s labour market. Automation and digitalisation will continue to alter the labour market in Northern Ireland, requiring new and innovative approaches to training targeted to both youth entering the labour market as well as existing workers in at risk jobs.

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