Employment and Learning

Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 12th March 2013.

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Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance 2:45 pm, 12th March 2013

Mr Cree is quite right to say that we are still in the early days of these programmes.  The profile of spend during 2012-13 was quite small and was largely for set-up costs, but we are set to see significant increases in expenditure for these projects over the next two financial years.  I believe that the programmes in place are strong and comprehensive, but we will keep them under constant review and, if necessary, make any mid-course adjustments.

Coming on stream in the near future is Steps 2 Success, the successor to Steps to Work, which will be the new mainstream back-to-work programme.  That will offer a much more individualised, tailored approach to dealing with clients.  Indeed, that may bring some of the additional benefit that Mr Cree is asking for.