Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster, today called on people across Northern Ireland to have their say on ‘Enabling Success’ – a new Strategic Framework to tackle economic inactivity.
Developed jointly by the two Departments in conjunction with a number of other government departments, the main purpose of the strategic framework is to provide the right level of assistance and support to help people in a range of inactive categories to make the transition towards employment, when they opt to do so.
Speaking at a public stakeholder engagement event in Belfast, Minister Farry said: “The strategic framework is focused around several key themes. These include increasing engagement and support for individuals to access government services more easily; increasing job opportunities; addressing wider barriers and helping break the cycle of inactivity by doing more to help those most at risk of disengaging from the labour market.
“This will be the only dedicated government strategy in the UK aimed specifically at tackling economic inactivity and I would therefore strongly encourage all interested parties to take this opportunity make their views heard. Your views will be integral in shaping the final strategy, including its implementation, delivery and management.”
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added: “We need to develop new ways of encouraging more people into employment by developing incentives, working with employers, and creating training and employment opportunities. I therefore look forward to hearing the views of all interested parties on the direction and objectives of this new Strategic Framework.”
The departments have hosted a number of public consultation events across Northern Ireland to engage directly with a wide range of stakeholders and to discuss how government can better support those individuals, currently neither in work nor actively seeking work, who wish to make the transition towards and into employment. As the strategic framework proposes to focus on the forms of economic inactivity caused by particular circumstances, ranging from long-term health conditions and family or caring commitments, through to a range of wider labour market barriers, such as age and mental health stigma, input is particularly sought from people affected by these issues.
For further information or to view the consultation document please visit http://www.delni.gov.uk/economic-inactivity-strategy-consultation.pdf or telephone 028 9025 0208.
The public consultation closes on 17 April 2014. Both Ministers are encouraging everyone to make their voice heard and to respond to the consultation before the closing date.
Notes to editors:
1. All relevant consultation documents can be accessed via the DEL and DETI websites at http://www.delni.gov.uk/economic-inactivity-consultation andhttp://www.detini.gov.uk/index/homepage-newpage-consultations.htm
2. See photos from the Department for Employment and Learning in our collection at http://www.flickr.com/niexecutive.
3. The Department for Employment and Learning recently launched a new ‘Skills to Succeed’ campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of skills and qualifications for individuals, employers and the economy. The campaign will run across a variety of platforms including television, radio and press. The campaign encourages individuals and employers seeking to develop their own skills and those of their workforce to find out what programmes and assistance is available by visiting http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills or by calling 0300 200 7876.