Education, skills and training for young people aged 14–19 years old
Policy reform in Northern Ireland has long acknowledged challenges in developing and maintaining a skilled workforce to enhance economic and social outcomes for all. Whilst educational attainment and skill levels have slowly improved, many young people do not reach their potential and the economy continues to experience a shortage of ‘mid–tier skills’. As youth unemployment continues to rise and sectors that historically employed young people close or evolve due to automation, urgent attention is required to address skills and training deficits .
This is the first of two reports exploring what opportunities and challenges exist for policy makers to support young people to develop skills for a modern workforce. This report outlines the wider economic context that influences skills and training for this age group, before exploring policy gaps and opportunities in Northern Ireland.
Our analysis concludes with five areas that we will explore in our upcoming research for further investigation:
1. Educational inequalities and disengagement amongst young people in Northern Ireland
2. Developing a curriculum for the future workplace
3. Resourcing and delivering innovative careers advice
4. Attitudes to further education
5. Enhancing partnerships between employers and training providers
Our future research will involve key stakeholders including young people, parents/carers, careers teachers and employers.