Joined Up Thinking Paramount in Redistributing Department Functions Says Committee

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 May 2012

Reference: CEL 05/11/12

A report on the dissolution and redistribution of functions of the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) has been launched by the Assembly Committee responsible for advising and overseeing the work of the Department.

The Committee for Employment and Learning, which began its consultation in January, spoke to a wide range of stakeholders, including Departmental staff, the universities and colleges of further education as well as business organisations, unions and voluntary and community organisations.

Chairperson of the Committee, Basil McCrea MLA said: “As the Committee with oversight responsibilities for the Department of Employment and Learning, we believed it was very important to gain the views of Department stakeholders on the proposed dissolution. We took the view that such a consultation would tease out issues and could inform the way responsibilities were redistributed.

“We have been impressed with the responses and options for redistributing functions identified by the stakeholder groups. One option, in particular, that of the creation of a new Department for the Economy, showed that people were looking for another way for Northern Ireland to put economic and skills development at the centre of government.

“I expect that the Executive will want to take many of the ideas and recommendations on board. This report is a valuable contribution to this exercise and demonstrates the mature way that all of us are working in these financially difficult times."

ENDS

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