Creating a high skilled economy – it begins in school

Northern Ireland’s economy has a number of weaknesses. At the heart of these is the shortage of skills – higher levels of skills moves an economy up the value chain, leading to improved productivity and greater wealth.  Too many of NI’s school leavers have lower levels of qualifications and skills than are needed for the modern economy. This reduces their prospects for obtaining well paid jobs, while some will become long-term unemployed or economically inactive. NI has the UK’s highest rate of economic inactivity.  A recent report from the Pivotal …

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Vocational skills: Northern Ireland’s core economic weakness

Never mind Bill Clinton saying, ‘it’s the economy, stupid’, the answers to Northern Ireland’s difficulties are instead perhaps Tony Blair’s mantra, ‘education, education, education’. In fact, the main way to tackle the economic problems of Northern Ireland are arguably to focus on education and skills.  Seamus McGuinness, research professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute, discusses the weaknesses of Northern Ireland’s education and skills system in the latest Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast. Although ESRI is based in Dublin, Seamus …

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“You’re not being taught to think outside the box, to think differently from other people…”

Great to see Eamonn dip his toes in the Audioboo waters, not least using that great address book he has… in this piece he talks to the Northern Bank economist Angela McGowan… Skills base deficit hurting economy here (mp3) A good way through, Eamonn invites Angela to comment on educational deficits, at which she notes the real problem with NI education is the general capture by rote learning (cramming for examinations), which is killing innovation… Would have liked to have …

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