Chair and members sought for the Northern Ireland Skills Council

Date published: 19 January 2023

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has launched a public appointments competition for a chair and eight members of the Northern Ireland Skills Council (NISC).

Chair and members sought for the Northern Ireland Skills Council
Chair and members sought for the Northern Ireland Skills Council

The NISC is an advisory body which provides strategic advice to ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive, and government departments, on issues pertaining to the development and implementation of skills policy.

Successful applicants will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of Northern Ireland’s skills system which will be central to delivering sustainable business growth and increasing social opportunity in a rapidly changing economy. The Department is looking for dynamic and enthusiastic individuals with a track record of working across a broad network of stakeholders and applying evidence-based analysis to inspire transformative change.

No specific academic qualifications are required for the post. However, the Department wishes to appeal to people of all ages from a wide range of backgrounds and experience across the business, trade union and the community and voluntary sectors. The Department would particularly welcome applications from people with a disability and those from minority ethnic communities, as they are currently under-represented on boards. The Department is operating a Guaranteed Interview Scheme in this competition for applicants with a disability.

This is an open competition, which involves an application form and interview. The closing date for receipt of applications is noon (GMT) on 9 February 2023. Appointments are made on merit.

An application pack with full details and guidance may be obtained from: Public Appointments Unit, Department for the Economy, Adelaide House, 39-49 Adelaide Street, Belfast BT2 8FD. Email: Details may also be obtained from the DfE website or by telehone to Janet McCrum on 028 9052 9492 or Text Relay: 18001 028 9052 9492.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Council primarily focuses on the Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland, ‘Skills for a 10x Economy’, but also considers the broader context of the underpinning importance of skills in meeting the objectives of the Programme for Government and the economic vision for Northern Ireland ‘10x Economy: Northern Ireland’s Decade of Innovation’.

2. The rate of remuneration for the Chair is currently £4,656.00 per annum (based on 16 days’ work per year), and for a Council member £1,788.00 per annum (based on 12 days’ work per annum).

3. The Chair and Members will initially be appointed for a term of four years. Subject to satisfactory performance, the Chair and Members may be offered reappointment at the end of their term for a further period.

4. As an unregulated body DfE is running the competition in the spirt of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Northern Ireland (CPANI) Code of Practice.

5. The Council has the following objectives:

  • to advise and support the strategic development of 2-5-10 year implementation plans underpinning ‘Skills for a 10x Economy’;
  • to issue an annual report on progress against the Strategy’s strategic goals and against commitments set out in implementation plans;
  • to identify and make recommendations on key strategic priorities for Northern Ireland’s skills system, to support economic development of greater social inclusion; and 
  • to develop greater cohesion in Northern Ireland’s skills system by rationalising the advisory infrastructure and providing a forum for the development of cohesive strategic policy to ensure a broad range of stakeholders and experts are engaged in the development of skills policy which is directly relevant to the needs of Northern Ireland’s economic and societal development. In this regard, members of the Skills Council should have a broad network of contacts across the business, trade union or voluntary and community sectors.

6. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

7. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

8. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at

9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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