Press Release

MLAs Call On The North West To Work Together In Tough Times

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Reference: E&L 04/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning has called for better partnerships between business and education to help regenerate the North West economy. The call came as the Committee visited Magee College to hold a Committee meeting and meet the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster and the Chief Executive of the Ilex Regeneration Company.

Dolores Kelly, MLA, Chair of the Employment and Learning Committee said: “We are here today to hear about the opportunities for regeneration that are available in the North West. The University of Ulster is hosting us and obviously we will be talking to them and Ilex about the kind of support they need to build a smarter future for the people of the North West. The Committee is keenly aware that development of our people is the best way to see us through the current economic problems.

“Value for money and partnership working will be the watch words for public investment. On this visit the Committee has seen a number of excellent collaborations which are delivering results for the local economy.

“We believe that the North West has considerable potential to take advantage of opportunities that exist in education, training and personnel development and to win new business and investment.”

As well as holding its meeting in the College, the Committee also hosted a breakfast meeting, bringing together MLAs and representatives from the local universities, students and business organisations, providing a useful opportunity for local stakeholders to discuss their concerns and ideas for regeneration with Committee members.

Jonathan Bell, MLA, Deputy Chair of the Committee added: “The Committee recently hosted a breakfast at Parliament Buildings which brought together business and the further education sector. This is the kind of joined-up thinking and working that we need to see more of. We are very keen to support activities which bring together the different drivers within our economy to allow us to make better use of the resources that we have.

“The Committee will be taking back to the Assembly the examples of partnership working we have seen in the North West today. We must share best practice. We are working hard to bring groups together where we believe it will prove useful”.

Notes to Editors:

The Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning held its weekly meeting at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster on 20 th October. MLAs received briefings from: Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor of the university on the issues currently facing Higher Education; Dr Aideen McGinley, Chief Executive of Ilex, about local regeneration projects; and Sir Graeme Davies, the Independent Chairperson of the Review of Higher Education in Northern Ireland, who will update the Committee on the progress of the Review.

The Committee Chairperson is Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA 
Deputy Chairperson: Mr Jonathan Bell MLA

Committee members: 
Mr. Sydney Anderson MLA 
Mr. Paul Butler MLA 
Rev. Dr. Robert Coulter MLA 
Mr. Chris Lyttle MLA 
Mr. David McClarty MLA 
Mrs. Claire McGill MLA 
Ms. Sue Ramsey MLA 
Mr. Pat Ramsey MLA 
Mr. Peter Weir MLA

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