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Department for Employment and Learning :Minister Farry meets United States delegation

1 March 2016

Minister Farry meets United States delegation

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today met a United States delegation including higher education representatives, leading company representatives, and US State Department officials to discuss his Department’s Assured Skills initiative.

The visiting delegation was led by Mr Drew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the US State Department, and supported by the US Consul General for Northern Ireland, Mr Daniel Lawton.

Minister Farry said: “My Department’s Assured Skills programme assists potential investors by supporting their business plans and adding value to their training and development activity. This could, for example, be through facilitating links with the further education and university sectors to design bespoke training solutions, or supporting recruitment and other pre-employment activities.

“Since 2010/11, the Assured Skills programme in collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland has promoted 5,375 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) jobs, with a Department for Employment and Learning contribution of just over £7 million. The meeting today provided an excellent opportunity to build upon the established links between my Department and the Executive with the US State Department, and demonstrate to some of the most senior decision makers from international firms how we can support businesses here in Northern Ireland.”

Special Representative O’Brien said: “The State Department is pleased to be here in Northern Ireland, exploring opportunities with Minister Farry’s team at the Department for Employment and Learning. Northern Ireland holds great economic potential, and we want to showcase this to our partners on this delegation, with the hope that additional investment will continue to transform the region as a competitive economic centre on a global stage.”

Daniel Lawton, US Consul General in Belfast, added: “Thanks to Minister Farry for connecting members of his team with U.S. representatives to capitalize on the growth potential of two-way transatlantic trade and investment.”

Notes to editors:

All media enquiries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7492. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.