Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Steps to Work

Steps to Work initiative (October 2008) This programme targets those in receipt of a wide range of benefits, while others who are economically inactive can also participate.



Training for Success

Training for Success – Del has revised the structures to each of the three components of training
with the intention of securing retention rates, individualising programmes and enhancing industry specific employability skills.


All Age Apprenticeship

New All Age Apprenticeship programme, ApprenticeshipNI, has been made available to people of all ages.



Vocational Enhancement Programme

The Vocational Enhancement Programme (VEP) From 2004 DEL and DE have worked jointly to enhance the profile of vocational education.
From September 2008, VEP funding and administration has passed to DE with current collaborative arrangements with FE evolving into the Entitlement Framework in 2013.



New Qualification and Credit Framework

New Qualification and Credit Framework is a unit and credit based framework intended to enable more learning undertaken throughout life

to be recognised through the award of a qualification. The new framework, which will initially consist of vocational qualifications, will be in place by the end of 2010.



Bridge to Employment

‘Bridge to Employment’ – This programme continues to deliver trained staff to both indigenous
and inward investing companies through design and delivery of tailored courses.


Workplace Development Forums

The presence of Workplace Development Forums provides a platform for employers
to identify local skills needs. As a result, interventions are put in place to address these skills issues, e.g. the introduction of relevant FE courses to suit employers’ needs.



Sector Skills Council

The Sector Skills Councils will continue to play an increasing importance role in highlighting skills shortages for future needs.
There are some 25 Sector Skills Councils and while it may not be possible to cover all 25 in one academic year, currently a lot of government attention is focusing on ICT (e-skills) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).



Bring IT On

The Government is currently driving an ‘ICT Attractiveness’ road-show campaign aimed at the 14 to 16 age group. In January 2009, the ‘Bring IT on’ campaign will be launched,
while the Software Professional Course (SPC) is currently on its fourth intake with regional FE colleges providing up-skilling for the IT industry.



Labour Market Information

Labour Market Information – More could be done here to help individuals make more informed choices about which careers to pursue and the education and training routes to follow. By October 2008 information sheets about different sectors will be available from your DEL officer.



Essential Skills

Beginning with the Essential Skills of literacy, numeracy, ICT, and developing the ‘softer’ skills of problem solving, innovative and enterprising,
there will be increasing importance placed on up-skilling and relevant training for local employers and individuals.



The Executive (Back to Work)

The economy remains at the heart of Executive policy ensuring Northern Ireland remains competitive globally by 2015 and beyond.
Northern Ireland is committed to securing high value jobs, good leadership and management training, a strong export base, more inward investment with emphasis on entrepreneurial and innovative skills.



Careers Clinic

In each addition of the blog we intend to include some questions sent to us via email or asked directly while out on school visits. Perhaps you have dealt with similar questions/issues in your work. This is an opportunity for you to feed back to us any suggestions or ideas you would have to help address the questions put forward in this section of the newsletter. We will acknowledge any contributions made by you in future issues.

Q. My daughter intends going to Newcastle University to study medicine. She is the first one in the house to go to university and I don’t see why she can’t go to Queens University, Belfast. At least we are familiar with the reputation of Queens. We know nothing about Newcastle and would like to know if she is making the right choice in deciding to go to Newcastle.

Q. Our school has introduced Key Skills (CCEA) level 2 in Communication and Numeracy at Key Stage 4 as an alternative to GCSE English and Maths. The Construction Industry Training Board will accept level 2 as a prerequisite for entry to plumbing and electrical instead of a GCSE ‘C’ grade. Does DE accept level 2 as a valid grade C for school statistical purposes? In other words, will a level 2 be counted as part of the total number of GCSEs at C grade or above for which the school is accredited when the GCSE results come out?


Making The News This Term

Whats New?

In 2008, the overall number of people applying to university/college saw an almost double digit rise – 9% or over half a million applications!
Source: Belfast Telegraph 1/09/2008

Joanne Stuart, chairperson of the Institute of Directors, commented that a higher proportion of our young people in NI go onto higher education than in other parts of the UK, yet many are under employed in low skilled jobs. We need a careers system that better guides people, not just young people, to the acquisition of skills to build the local economy. She concluded by saying that unless we get a firm handle on skills we can say goodbye to the private sector growth that NI so badly needs.
Source: Belfast Telegraph 1/09/2008

A recent York university research study, which polled some 4,000 young people aged between 9 and 14, concluded that children are switching off science after GCSE because they see it as dull and irrelevant. Young people do not realise that science underpins many of the careers they might do – far too many (potential) scientists are turning their backs on a career with a science background. Too many are turning off because their perception of a science job is one that’s in a lab cut off from people and the real world. A range of science based careers needs to be made available to young people as early as possible in their school careers.

The Independent 25/09/2008