I thank the Member for his question. My Department has put in place a package of financial support to encourage employers to return apprentices from furlough through to successful completion of their framework and recruit new apprentices. Information on the apprenticeship return, retain and result scheme and new apprentice recruitment schemes can be found on nibusinessinfo.co.uk.
Employer-led sectoral partnerships operate across various sectors of the economy and are central to the development of the apprenticeship frameworks, from level 2 to level 8, to ensure that they meet the current and future needs of industry in Northern Ireland. For example, the level 3 apprenticeship in IT was recently expanded to include pathways in cybersecurity and digital forensics to reflect the growing demand for skilled workers in those fields. In addition to that, my officials continue to work on extending all age criteria to non-economic priority sectors and the development of public-sector apprenticeships.