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Farry on skills mission to US 

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today embarked on a skills mission to America.

The Minister will hold a series of high-level meetings over four days, with senior representatives from companies in New York, Washington DC and Chicago who are considering Northern Ireland as an investment location. The Minister will relay the package of support available through his Department’s Assured Skills programme. 

The Minister said: “The creation of a vibrant economy is at the heart of the Northern Ireland Executive's Programme for Government, as emphasized at the recent Investment Conference. During this visit, I will show companies that investing in Northern Ireland makes sound business sense. In particular, I will emphasise the support available from my Department to support their investment through the Assured Skills programme. 

“The Assured Skills programme, which runs in conjunction with Invest Northern Ireland, develops and provides bespoke training programmes to ensure that inward investors have the skilled workforce they require. The initiative supports potential investor’s business plans by adding value to their training and development activity. This could, for example, be through facilitating links with the further education and university sectors to design specific training solutions, or supporting recruitment and other pre-employment activities.”

The Minister will also meet companies who have already invested in Northern Ireland and benefited from DEL’s Assured Skills Programme including Axiom Law and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. These meetings will help inform the further development of the Assured Skills programme for the needs of potential investors in the future. 

The Minister continued: “As the Minister with the responsibility for skills, I want to show potential investors the extent of the support mechanisms we have to help them find the skilled workforce they need to grow and expand, thereby contributing to the development of the Northern Ireland economy.” 

The Minister will also meet with Ben Chrnelich, Chief Financial Officer of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and senior officials from the US Department of State’s Global Partnership Division and Gerri Fiala, Department of Labour, Workforce Development Division to discuss a range of up-skilling and workforce development initiatives.

NYSE Belfast has been involved in the Department’s ICT up-skilling programmes including the Cloud and Software Testers Academy. 

Notes to editors:

1. See photos from the Department for Employment and Learning in our collection at  http://www.flickr.com/niexecutive

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