Employment and Learning

Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 12th March 2013.

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Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance 2:30 pm, 12th March 2013

I thank the Member for his question.  As he will appreciate, Invest Northern Ireland is the lead economic development agency for Northern Ireland; it sources the opportunities and makes the initial contacts.  My officials work closely with their counterparts in Invest Northern Ireland.  As someone who was concerned previously about the ability of different agencies to co-operate, I have been significantly reassured over the past number of years at the level of commonality and joint endeavour between my Department and Invest Northern Ireland.  In turn, Invest Northern Ireland will look to my Department to provide reassurance around skills.  It is for that reason that we have the Assured Skills programme, which, I believe, has been crucial in getting a number of key investments over the line in recent months.