Career advice inquiry welcomed by Ruane

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Friday, November 29th, 2013
Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has welcomed the Employment and Learning Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance. Ruane told Newry Times, “I welcome the inquiry into career advice as we must ensure that we are providing the correct information that will allow us to grow the economy by allowing people to take up jobs that are long term and fulfilling. “During the inquiry the committee received a number of briefings from organisations that have alluded to a “skills gap” across a range of different sectors. Not only is this skill gap in practical skills but it is developing right across all areas of employment from Information Communication Technology (ICT), agriculture, retail, hospitality and construction. “At present there are many opportunities within industry that we don’t have the people with the correct skills to fill. We need to develop a programmes where schools and further educational facilities are in harmony with developing industries and prospective investors so that training needs can be identified,” Ruane explained. “This inquiry has looked at ways in which we can have a joined up approach between educational facilities, and industry in order to direct people into gaining skills that will maximise their opportunities for careers and long term employment. “The inquiry identified the lack of people who are training or being educated for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects as well as a lack of apprenticeships that would allow us to fill the vacancies that are opening up in these industries. “It also identified gender inequalities that need to be addressed, the issue of career advice to older people and the professionalisation and standardisation of advice. The SDLP MLA addd, “The Minister must now bring forward a strategy that will allow us to promote the skills needed in order to marry the needs of the economy with the workforce that will allow people to pursue worthwhile and fulfilling careers.”
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