The South Belfast MLA stated: ‘Ministers and MLAs from Executive parties have spent the week saying that the devastating news from Limavady illustrates the need for Government to invest in training. It is a pity they did not think of that before they produced a Programme of Government which failed to prioritise this.
“For all the Executive’s talk of creating a world-class economy, all we see is Ministers shirking responsibility to Government agencies, while offering no new deal on education or training. This is folly.
“We need leadership from the Executive, and a radical change of direction in our adult education system. This does not just mean better universities and further education colleges, it means better community facilities so that the entire population has access to the skills they need. Yet none of this appears in the Programme for Government or the Budget.
“All four Executive parties signed off on a Programme which fails to prioritise education – at any level. They must now redouble their efforts to prove that this was a mere oversight. We cannot compete globally if we do not train our people to develop the skills the modern workforce needs.”