Appointment of an Expert Panel to Examine Links between Persistent Educational Underachievement and Socio-economic Background

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:30 am on 28th July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 11:30 am, 28th July 2020

Certainly, I think that we need to see where social deprivation is impacting on university places. There is a need to ensure that we have a 14- to 19-year-old strategy that is fit for purpose. With university places and the commitments that the Executive will be looking at about restarting the economy after COVID, one of the things that should worry us all is not just the general employment situation but, particularly, the impact on youth unemployment and, indeed, the job opportunities that are likely to be there for young people in the very near future. Consequently, that will be a driver in what support is given to universities and apprenticeships, and that has to be born in mind. We should not kid ourselves that this problem is unique to Northern Ireland. We can see distinctions in different jurisdictions. A key focus of the panel is to try to tackle that underachievement and improve things.