The Let’s Do Business initiative, supported by the Department for the Economy, offers local companies the ability to engage their local FE college to help recruit talented people, reskill and upskill their existing staff or to access expertise in innovation and research.
Speaking after he addressed attendees at the event, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy Noel Lavery highlighted the benefits available for local business: “The network of Further Education colleges in Northern Ireland contains a deep well of talent that can be a hugely valuable resource for local businesses. With the support of the Department, the FE colleges offer an opportunity for direct collaboration that can result in companies recruiting and training the skilled people they need in order to compete and grow.
“Whether it be in IT, hospitality, engineering, retail, a start-up or a well-established venture, every type of business can benefit and gain a competitive edge by boosting their skills base or accessing the knowledge, research and innovation capability that exists in abundance in our colleges.
“In the last three years alone, the colleges have supported around 3,700 local businesses, upskilled over 7,000 employees and delivered 41 Assured Skills Academies, which provide practical learning designed in partnership with companies and a guaranteed job interview for participants. It is this type of approach that the colleges have a proven track record in delivering that is truly beneficial for all involved.”
In conclusion, Mr Lavery added: “The Let’s Do Business initiative is a key element of the Further Education Means Success strategy, which sets the direction for the FE sector in Northern Ireland and seeks to ensure that the colleges continue to provide a competitive boost to the local economy coupled with fantastic opportunities to learners.”
Vincent Taggart, Vice Principal of Northern Regional College said the College plays a key role providing support to the local business community.
“We support the economy by providing a wide range of services to the business community including consultancy, training and upskilling and there’s a wealth of resources and expertise on their doorstep that businesses can tap into.
“Our Business Development team can give advice on funding and work with individual businesses to develop tailored solutions which are delivered by the team, in conjunction with industry specific technical and academic staff.
“Companies can really benefit from the expertise of our staff to develop innovative projects which turn can give a greater return on investment.”