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.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 11:30 am, 28th July 2020

Thank you, Principal Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to ask a further question. I am disappointed by some of the questioning from some of the parties. It indicates to me that there is either no understanding, a lack of understanding or they simply do not take the issue as being important. The issue is hugely important to the wider working-class and hard-to-reach communities, and we should remember that. As the Minister set out, educational attainment is a key issue that is hugely important for our young people.

Given that not every child wants to or has the ability to continue on to third-level education and university, we need to consider effective training that leads to meaningful employment. Will this piece of work lead to a joined-up strategy with the Department for the Economy and the local centres for training and employment to ensure that those young people get meaningful and long-lasting employment?