'My top priority as minister for Employment and Learning has been to transform our professional and technical education and training system, in order to provide the most effective support for the growth of our economy, and to provide learning pathways that enable local people to reach their full potential.' (Former Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry)

The seminar took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 16 – 18 October 2018.

The Skills Sector in Northern Ireland has for a number of years been working to deliver positive economic and social outcomes for all who take up vocational education. This is against a historical backdrop of conflict and fractured communities. Through this event we looked at how the Northern Irish Skills Sector has overcomed these obstacles to shape a quality TVET offer that supports social cohesion and economic growth. This event had a particular emphasis on building quality TVET from challenging contexts and was especially suitable for delegates tackling challenges around engaging different demographics and stakeholder coordination.

During the seminar we explored the following questions:

  • What purpose does technical and vocational training serve and how do we deliver this?
  • How can we create a system where different stakeholders, including employers and community groups work together effectively?
  • What does a quality learning space look like and how do we create excellent environments for teaching and learning?
  • How can you as a policy maker enable autonomy but ensure quality and cohesion?
  • How can we ensure that diverse groups of learners from a range of backgrounds can access quality training equally?
  • How do we measure success from both a social and economic perspective?

The programme also featured:

  • Visits to employers
  • Visits to independent training providers and colleges
  • Expert speakers
  • Interactive workshops
  • A networking dinner
  • Learning Aims

Participants were presented with effective practices in delivering quality TVET provision for diverse groups of learners and insight into policy setting and implementation models.

More specifically, we provided:

  • an introduction to managing and encouraging quality provision in challenging contexts
  • ideas for policy changes and interventions to contribute to system reform
  • time to reflect on the different stakeholders and groups engaged in TVET and the functions they can and do serve

This event focused on delivering high quality TVET in challenging circumstances and how to connect different stakeholders in a joint vision. 

For more information, please write to: Skills@britishcouncil.org