HATS Network | Latest news (January 2023)

Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 6-10 February 2023

NI Apprenticeship Week runs from 6 to 10 February 2023 and aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships through a series of in-person and virtual events.

Led by Department for the Economy, employers are invited to get involved in the annual week-long celebration.

There are a number of ways to take part:

  • Host your own apprenticeship event or in collaboration with other apprenticeship partners. To get involved with organising an event you can contact the Department by email at: ApprenticeWeek@economy-ni.gov.uk
  • Share the HATS Network Guide to hospitality apprenticeships to help inform and inspire young people and showcase the variety of apprenticeship opportunities on offer. 
  • Join HATS Network in promoting apprenticeships. We have the opportunity for employers to join us in showcasing hospitality careers and apprenticeship opportunities at a provider event. To get involved email info@hatsnetwork.co.uk

Members sought for NI Skills Council 

The Department for the Economy wishes to appoint a new chair and members to the board of the Northern Ireland Skills Council (NISC).  

NISC is a new advisory body, providing strategic advice to Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive, and government departments, on issues pertaining to the development of skills policy to meet the objectives of the Programme for Government, the economic vision for Northern Ireland ‘10x Economy: Northern Ireland’s Decade of Innovation’ and the Skills Strategy, ‘Skills for a 10x Economy’.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Thursday 9 February 2023.

Applicants are required to submit evidence of competency against four essential criteria. 

  • Good communication and influencing skills 
  • The ability to think strategically 
  • The ability to analyse information and make decisions 
  • Understanding of the NI Skills Landscape 

Find out more

Skills consultations from Department for the Economy 

Skills consultations from Department for the Economy 

The Department for the Economy has launched two public consultations which have an impact on the supply and development of skills in our sector: 

  • Principles for Vocational Qualifications in Northern Ireland: The consultation document sets out six proposed principles for vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland; which are the result of extensive research and internal and external stakeholder engagement; and seeks views on them. Vocational qualifications equip learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed by the labour market, and it is vital that qualifications offered in Northern Ireland can support the needs of both learners and the economy.  
  • Level 4 and level 5 and higher education in further education (HE in FE): The consultation document is seeking views on level 4 and 5 provision and Higher Education in Further Education (HE in FE) – these are higher education courses and qualifications undertaken by learners aged 18+. Level 4 and 5 provision and HE in FE is critical in helping to ensure the widest possible range of people can access higher education and it is also essential for employers. These courses and qualifications often focus on practical and technical skills and so contribute to providing a vital pipeline for the economy to help businesses grow and adapt.  

Consultations close 5pm on 9th March 2023.

The HATS Network will be submitting a response to both consultations. A draft response will be shared inviting members to contribute further views for consideration and to support making individual/sub-sector responses to the consultation should they wish.