17/11/2005

Lack of border training affecting economic development

The complexity of training provision and funding arrangements on both sides of the Irish border is having significant negative effects on economic development in the area, new research by the University of Ulster has claimed.

The primary objective of the study was to provide an overview of current skills training provision for the underemployed, the long-term unemployed, returners to work, people with disabilities, members of the Traveller community and those running small and micro-businesses within counties Cavan, Derry/Londonderry, Donegal, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo, Tyrone as well as the Newry and Mourne local district authority.

Dr Emily Boyle, one of four academics from the university’s Faculty of Business and Management involved in the project, said that because of the complexity of provision there is a serious need for a centralised point of access of information for all the training courses currently offered for these groups in the area. To this end the team has developed an online database and compiled a comprehensive report about the provision.

"To help simplify the picture for those seeking training in the border counties an online database facility ‘www.bordertraining.com’ offering access to a comprehensive directory of training courses in the border counties has been developed. This will provide information for both training providers and the target groups," Dr Boyle said.

"The website is user friendly and simple to operate. It provides all the information needed to enable potential trainees to make an informed decision about a course and its relevance to their needs. The website will be demonstrated at the launch of the project in the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen on 14th November." It is anticipated it will become live early in December.

The second outcome of the study is a report which identifies the skills training provision in the border area both on a group-by-group basis and on a county-by-county basis. In this way people who are interested in training for a specific group or in a particular area can use it easily for reference purposes.

(MB/SP)

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