28/11/2001

Labour Market Bulletin charts course of workforce

Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Sean Farren has announced the publication of the annual Labour Market bulletin.

An amalgamation of the research efforts of various branches and agencies impinging on the Northern Ireland’s labour market, education and skills training sectors, the Bulletin examines trends within the province’s workforce.

Launching the Bulletin produced by the Research and Evaluation Branch of the Department of Education and Learning, Dr Farren said: “My department’s aim is to promote a culture of lifelong learning and equip people for work in a modern economy which is socially inclusive. The Bulletin plays an important role in helping to achieve this aim.”

Dr Farren said that the report played an important role in raising awareness of the latest research findings on education, training and labour market issues. He said the report was not simply an academic exercise but formed a useful guide to policy efficacy based on evidence-led research and as such sought to focus debate and be used by those involved in drawing up policies and in strategic decision making.

He said: “In the current uncertain economic climate it is essential that we remain focused on our long-term strategic aims. The Labour Market Bulletin is a valuable resource, which helps take informed decisions which will shape the future of the Northern Ireland economy.”

The Bulletin contains around 28 articles and reports on the findings of research projects on a variety of topics. Among these are skills forecasting, labour market changes over the last decade, and employment in the IT sector and how these compare with the GB and the Republic of Ireland.

The highlights of the report include a detailed analysis of the micro-climate of the Northern Ireland labour market and a sectorial analysis of the trends in the labour market in the last ten years.

However, the Bulletin also looks at anecdotal evidence and academic research on the changes that have occurred in the labour market down to the level of the impact of major redundancies made by firms such as Harland and Wolff, and the effects on the economy and the tracking of the individuals affected by these changes. (SP)

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