Employers 'could receive funding to train workers'
Employers in the North could receive official skills training support in exchange for new jobs, the Employment Minister said today.
The Assured Skills project means the Government would deliver specially designed programmes and could provide graduates with the necessary tools to do the job, Sir Reg Empey added.
The Department of Employment and Learning wants to adopt some of the practices used in North Carolina, which has delivered projects for nearly 200 companies.
Sir Reg told the Assembly: "When a company is interested in creating jobs here, we want to be able to assure them that we can provide the necessary support to deliver the skilled workforce that they require."
He said the Assured Skills programme meant bespoke training for employers and could involve the creation of a graduate conversion course or working with colleges and universities to adapt the curriculum to ensure everybody qualified in a particular discipline would also have the skills relevant to their employer.
"Whatever it means, though, we want to be able to demonstrate through action, as opposed to mere words, that we are open for business and ready and able to help," he added.
One of the projects already provides assistance to Citi, the multinational financial services company, where almost 200 staff have been trained.
Sir Reg added: "If the economy is to be the centre of our programme for government and if we are serious about delivering the types of high-value jobs that will take our economy forward, this is precisely the type of innovative approach that we have to consider."