Farry Launches Advanced Manufacturing And Engineering Services Working Group
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, has announced the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Services Working Group.
The Working Group brings together a range of local employers from the advanced manufacturing sector together with employer representative bodies, government officials and representatives from local colleges and universities. Its purpose is to identify skills shortages and gaps within the sector and put in place actions that will help address these issues.
The Minister said: "It is vital that we have the skilled workforce in place to meet the needs of investors and indigenous companies. My Department will be working with employers, other Government departments and our local colleges and universities to put in place a range of actions aimed at addressing employers' concerns, including the identified shortage of engineering skills within the workforce."
The Minister identified manufacturing, specifically in relation to food and drink processing, advanced engineering and advanced materials, as a priority sector in light of its important role in relation to rebalancing the local economy.
The Minister said: "If we are to enable Northern Ireland to compete globally it is fundamental that we increase our export base and in this context the advanced manufacturing sector will be pivotal. To achieve these aspirations it will be essential that employers in this sector will have access to a workforce with the skills and technical knowledge required to produce innovative products and to adapt to the challenges facing the sector."
The Working Group will shortly produce an action plan which will set out the short, medium and long-term actions they will be taking forward to address the current and future skill needs of the sector.