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5 November 2014

Question Time Employment and Learning - Tuesday 4 November 2014


Oral Questions to Dr Farry, Minister for Employment and learning began with him being asked questions on Apprenticeships in South Antrim, Steps 2 Success programme and Skills Shortages and how they are hampering growth in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Cameron asked thie minister how many young people in South Antrim are undertaking apprenticeships through the Skills to Succeed programme. The Minister stated that "The most recent published statistics show that, as of 30 April 2014, 481 employed apprentices in the South Antrim constituency are being funded through my Department's ApprenticeshipsNI programme to undertake the off-the-job training element of their apprenticeship. Of those, 250 are targeted to achieve level 2 qualifications, and 231 are targeted to achieve level 3 qualifications".

Mr McKinney, Mr Nesbitt and Mr Flanagan all questioned the Minister about how many jobs will be transfered to the Steps to Work contractors to the subcontracts awarded on the Steps to Success programme.The Minister replied with "The transfer of contracted staff engaged in the delivery of the Steps to Work programme to the subcontractors involved in the delivery of Steps 2 Success is a matter for the respective organisations. The transfer process is subject to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, known as TUPE, which is a defined legal procedure. The Department is not directly involved in the process.

Budget cuts, Public Appointments and Cross-border Cooperation made up the rest of Oral Questions to the Minister of Employment and Learning.

You can view the questions and read the full transcript on our website.

During the 15 minutes of Topical Questions to the Minister, he answered questions on FE Courses in Rural Areas, South West College Budget Cuts and St Mary's University College.