Vital youth training cash will not be cut, Mullan told

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Foyle MLA Karen Mullan says the Department for the Economy has told Sinn Féin that funding for skills programmes for young people at ‘Techs’ and training providers won’t be cut to save cash..

Slashing funding for youth training schemes was one option considered in the Department of Finance’s recent ‘Briefing on Northern Ireland Budgetary Outlook 2018-2020’.

Under one scenario presented in that document no more monies would be made available to the DfE and there would have to be a £29 million reduction in its budget for 2018/19 and a £54 million reduction in 2019/20. However, Mrs. Mullan, who is the Sinn Féin education spokesperson, said these cuts to skills and training provision won’tnow happen.

She said: “The budgetary outlook paper for the DfE included a scenario with the cessation of the provision of Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications through Further Education colleges and Training for Success, along with the cessation of financial support for Postgraduate Studentships.

“At the time we strongly objected to these proposals as they are entirely contrary to the skills agenda that is vital to the future success of our economy.

“In a meeting with Sinn Fein the Department has confirmed that these cuts will not proceed.

“Although the Department’s budget does not provide much needed additional funding for Further and Higher Education I welcome the fact that the proposed cuts are not going ahead.”