Task Force on Employability and Long-Term Unemployment

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Learning – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 30 September 2002.

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Photo of Mrs Annie Courtney Mrs Annie Courtney Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15, 30 September 2002

19. asked the Minister for Employment and Learning to give an update on the progress of the task force on employability and long-term unemployment.

(AQO 201/02)

Photo of Carmel Hanna Carmel Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party

The draft report is with the Committee for Employment and Learning for consideration before submission to the Executive for approval and subsequent publication. I am looking forward to feedback from the Committee and to taking the draft report to my Executive Colleagues and on to publication.

Photo of Mrs Annie Courtney Mrs Annie Courtney Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:30, 30 September 2002

How will the Minister ensure that the work of the task force continues once its action plan has been produced?

Photo of Carmel Hanna Carmel Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party

The report signals the beginning of an interdepartmental approach to addressing those vital issues, and the task force recognises that more needs to be done. It is committed to ensuring that the recommendations contained in the action plan are taken forward.

Additionally, as Minister, I will lead the implementation of the employability task force action plan. I will seek support for the action plan from the Northern Ireland Executive, the Assembly, the employer representative bodies, the trade union movement, education and training providers, and, not least, the community and voluntary sector. An interdepartmental implementation group, which will report to me, will ensure that those parties take responsibility for delivering on their commitments in the action plan. Progress towards action plan targets will be further monitored through the publication of New TSN action plans. Those will reflect individual Departments’ commitments to the employability task force action plan. The implementation group will also put in place a local consultative process in each targeted area.