Press Release

Education Committee Working For Northern Ireland’s Future

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Wednesday, 05 November 2008

Reference: EDU 01/08/09

The Committee for Education held a meeting in Ballymena Academy on Wednesday and focused on how our education system is preparing children and young people for their future.

Having heard from local business people, the Committee was made aware of the skills gap that exists and which often results in school leavers entering the workplace ill equipped.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr. Mervyn Storey, MLA said “A core element of education is to prepare children for their future. If workplaces are identifying skills gaps then it is evident that the current education system needs to address this.

While the Committee recognises the great commitment that local businesses have made to the community, I am concerned that some have had to set up training schools to develop basic skills of school leavers. The education system must tackle this and have young people better placed for the world of work.”

The Committee also heard from the North Eastern Area Based Planning Group on their work to date and Ballymena Learning Together which comprises nine local post primary schools who collaborate to enhance learning opportunities in the local area.

Notes to Editors:

The Committee for Education is committed to holding its meetings in local community settings on a regular basis to encourage stakeholder participation and engagement at a local level.

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Mervyn Storey MLA 
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr Dominic Bradley MLA

The Committee has a further nine members: 
Mrs Mary Bradley MLA 
Mr Trevor Lunn MLA 
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA 
Mr Basil McCrea MLA 
Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA 
Mr John O’Dowd MLA 
Ms Michelle O’Neill MLA 
Mr Edwin Poots MLA 
Mr Ken Robinson MLA

The Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultative role, and advises the Minister of Education directly on the policies of the Department.

Both Wrightbus and Moy Park are members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust, an educational organization with the aim to advance and encourage business understanding of the Assembly and Assembly Members’ understanding of business through seminars, visits and fellowships.

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