New research is underway in Mid Ulster to identify gaps in workforce skills which the local economy needs to ensure growth.
The research is industry-led and has been commissioned by the new Mid Ulster Skills Forum, a partnership body which has emerged as a result of the region’s new Community Plan, made up of representatives of local businesses, colleges, universities, key sectoral business organisations and Mid Ulster District Council.
And the first step to the development of a Skills Gap Action Plan, an on-line survey, has been launched which is open to any Mid Ulster business, regardless of size or sector, to complete.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Trevor Wilson, has welcomed the start of the project:
“Mid Ulster is the most entrepreneurial region in Northern Ireland and has the largest business base outside of Belfast Metropolitan Area, so it is crucial to our future economic growth that businesses of all sizes, from small and medium sized enterprises to global companies, can draw on a high performing appropriately and adequately equipped pool of employees.
“This survey is the first step on the road to ensuring Mid Ulster is positioned to meet future skills requirements”.
Alan McKeown, Supply Chain Director with Dunbia Dungannon, who is a member of the Mid Ulster Skills Forum, encouraged local businesses to participate:
“This is the business community’s opportunity to provide their views on existing and future employability issues, and qualifications and skills shortages which are faced by them.
“Ultimately the results, our action plans and their outcomes will to benefit our competitiveness, our ability to sustain and increase employment, and our economy’s success.
“I would urge colleagues in all businesses to spend 10 short minutes feeding into what is a most significant piece of locally-focussed economic research”.
The work is being undertaken by Cogent Management Consulting.
To access the survey, visit www.midulstercouncil.org/skillsgap. The closing date for completed surveys is Thursday 28th September 2017.