Education must be accessible to all - Archibald
Sinn Féin Further and Higher Education spokesperson Caoimhe Archibald has said widening participation and access for all, is an important factor in supporting economic growth by developing a more skilled workforce.
Speaking following a meeting with the Open University Caoimhe Archibald MLA said:
“Education must be accessible to all, this includes those already in employment or those with caring responsibilities, having part-time and flexible options is important for those people.
“Widening participation to ensure access to education for those from all backgrounds and for those with disabilities will support economic development by ensuring a more broad-based skilled workforce, it also allows for in-work training and career changes.
“We had a useful discussion with the Open University's about their free online learning courses which 16,500 individuals in the north have accessed, many of these have not previously participated in higher education.
“These courses can act as an introduction for some individuals and lead to them undertaking further learning. We also discussed new opportunities that are available in some sectors for in-work training, including through apprenticeships.“These are positive measures which alongside more traditional pathways, provide educational opportunities to anyone who wants to avail of them.”