On 25 October, ICE Northern Ireland met with new Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard to foster collaboration and examine the major issues facing infrastructure delivery in Northern Ireland.
ICE NI Chairman Stephen Heaney, Vice Chairman Emer Murnaghan and Regional Director Richard Kirk sat down with Minister Hazzard at Stormont Parliament Buildings to discuss investment in Northern Ireland, future skills needs and the prioritisation of major projects.
ICE also identified ways in which the NI Executive can use a collaborative approach to successfully deliver the 2016-21 Programme for Government, which will in turn boost the economy, employment, and quality of life.
“It was fantastic to meet Minister Hazzard and it is apparent that we share a common cause – improving the quality of life for citizens,” Richard said. “We intend to be a resource for him going forward, as well as one of the key partners of the Programme for Government – ICE members are well-poised to help officials achieve the Programme’s outcomes.”
ICE informed the Minister of the establishment of the new Work+ civil engineering apprenticeship, and also recommended the development of a civil engineering sectoral task group to continue addressing the undersupply of skills.
Richard said: “We are looking forward to working with Minister Hazzard, as well as other officials, to ensure that Northern Ireland has the infrastructure and the skilled workforce it needs to attract investment, provide services and improve quality of life for the people here.”