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Farry welcomes OECD’s Vocational Education and Training Report

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry, has welcomed the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) report on Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Northern Ireland.
Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Department for Employment and Learning invited the OECD to complete the report as part of its wider ‘Skills beyond School’ work programme. This programme reviewed post secondary VET in Northern Ireland along with over 20 other countries. As part of the initiative, OECD officials visited Northern Ireland in 2013, meeting with Minister Farry and consulting with key VET stakeholders.

Minister Farry said: “The report from OECD is a welcome addition to the evidence on the performance of our vocational education and training system.

“There are many positives in the report such as our approach to quality, our lecturer development policy and our Further Education colleges’ links with employers. However, we also face challenges in a number of areas including qualification reform, progression pathways and in valuing further the vocational education and training route and my Department will be acting on the challenges identified.

“The report is timely, in that it provides further evidence to underpin the proposals I have set out in the Review of Apprenticeships which was published for consultation last week. Along with the views of consultees, the report will help to consolidate our thinking, as we move forward in developing the proposals for a new revitalised apprenticeship model for Northern Ireland.”

The OECD report is available on the OECD website and the Department’s initial policy response is available on the DEL NI website.at:

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) funded the Northern Ireland study.

Notes to editors:

  1. As part of the OECD Initiative the Department prepared a background report on the VET system in Northern Ireland. The background report is a factual paper that describes the VET system in terms of programmes, institutions, mix of provision, access routes, funding and governance, quality assurance, teaching and careers. The background report is also published today and is available on the DEL NI website
  2. See photos from the Department for Employment and Learning in our collection on Flickr
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7492. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.