Earlier this month, ICE representatives met with Naomi Long MLA to discuss the civil engineering skills shortage and Northern Ireland’s infrastructure needs. The meeting was part of ICE’s ongoing interaction with politicians to influence policy and highlight the issues raised in its 2016 Manifesto.
The first point of discussion was Work+, Northern Ireland’s first and only civil engineering apprenticeship. The NI Skills Barometer identified civil engineering as one of the professions with the greatest demand for skilled workers, and Work+ aims to address that undersupply. Citing her role as chair of the All Party Group on STEM, Ms Long expressed a strong interest in Work+ and similar initiatives that will encourage young people into STEM careers.
Ms Long also brought up the infrastructure issues facing East Belfast, emphasising the need for greater investment in water and sewerage works and flood defences.
“Meeting with Naomi was a fantastic opportunity to identify areas of shared interest and future collaborations,” Richard said. “Naomi’s professional background in civil engineering is an added bonus, as she deeply understands the industry’s challenges and how this affects her constituents’ lives.”
“We look forward to working with her, and with representatives from all political parties, as we continue to promote our 2016 Manifesto.”