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Employment and Learning

Stephen Farry MLA is the Alliance Party Minister for Employment and Learning.

The development of higher skilled individuals leads to more productive companies and a more competitive economy; increases the attractiveness of Northern Ireland as place to do business; improves the flexibility and responsiveness of our economy; and lead to improvements in living standards. Skills also benefit the individual, increasing their chances of gaining and remaining in employment; reducing social inequalities within our society; and improving living standards.

In government, Alliance has:

  • Frozen Tuition Fees for Local Students at NI HEIs
  • Created 1350 Additional Undergraduate Places, all in STEM subjects
  • Increased core Research Funding in universities
  • Produced a Higher Education EU Support Programme
  • Increased the Higher Education Innovation Fund
  • Increased in publically funded PhDs, all in economically relevant areas
  • Produced Northern Ireland's first Higher Education Strategy
  • Worked to get more children from poorer backgrounds into university
  • Ensured a more generous Education Maintenance Allowances than elsewhere in Britain
  • Introduced a Youth Unemployment Strategy
  • Delivered greater investment in IT learning and IT businesses
  • Produced a LGB workplace strategy
  • Introduced a Single Arbitration Scheme for Employment Disputes

Alliance will also be working to:

  • Undertake Comprehensive reviews of Apprenticeships and Youth Training
  • Create a strategy for reducing Economic Inactivity
  • Produce an Action plan for Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, to support these crucial industries in Northern Ireland
  • Review Employment Law
  • Reform parental leave and flexible working legislation, and develop a Gender Action Plan
  • Streamline Teacher Training
  • Investing in FE colleges as part of a wider FE strategy
  • Expand and fund more university places

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