This seminar assessed priorities for skills and apprenticeships policy in Northern Ireland, particularly in the continued absence of a devolved assembly.
It was structured to bring out the latest thinking on what is needed to support key sectors in Northern Ireland, as well as examining priorities for meeting the skills needs to support the Belfast City Region Deal - all in the UK-wide context of the Industrial Strategy.
Those attending also discussed the key priorities for businesses as they support apprentices and help deliver apprenticeship policy. They also examined the Swiss model of apprenticeship provision, and discussed lessons which could be learnt to help develop the system in Northern Ireland, particularly in developing the role of businesses.
Delegates discussed the further steps that can be taken for the development of effective pathways to apprenticeships - including the development of partnerships between schools, further and higher education institutions, training providers and employers - and considered the challenges for creating high-quality and flexible qualification, including degree apprenticeships.
Further sessions examined opportunities created by apprenticeships for promoting diversity and social mobility, including the roles of further education, apprenticeship providers and employers - and how best to meet the needs of apprentices, and support those who decide to use access training through non-traditional routes.