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Assembly Committee In Careers Development Visit

20 March 2013

Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly's Employment and Learning Committee today witnessed at first hand how University of Ulster staff are helping set primary, secondary and third level students on the right career path.

The fact finding visit to the Jordanstown campus was part of the Committee'songoing inquiry into careers information, advice, education and guidance.

Six members of the Employment and Learning Committee, under the chairmanship of Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann, were briefed by the Pro Vice Chancellor Educational Partnerships and International Affairs, Professor Anne Moran about the work the University is doing with primary and secondary schools to encourage more people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education.

Professor Moran also informed the delegation of MLAs, which included the DUP's David Hilditch, Sammy Douglas and Alastair Ross and Sinn Fein's Fra McCann and Bronwyn McGahan, about the outreach work the University is engaged in to help communities benefit from the knowledge of students and staff through programmes like Tutoring in Schools.

The Director of Employability and Marketing, Damian McGivern explained how the University was engaging with schools to ensure pupils are making informed decisions about the right academic and career path for them.

Members of the Committee visited the Career Development Centre where they were able to see how staff are ensuring graduates have the right skills and experience to secure employment.

Mr McGivern said: "The University of Ulster is very proud of the innovative and important work our staff are doing with schools and with our students around graduate employability.

"In our service delivery we recognise the central importance of providing all individuals with high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance to enable them to make informed decisions about their future career options.

"We also recognise the increasing key role parents/guardians play in this process and the University is developing a range of initiatives to help them understand better higher education as a career pathway.

"The University very much valued today's meeting with the Employment and Learning Committee and we look forward to their report on careers information, advice, education and guidance."

Caption: (l to r)Maria Curran (Career Development Centre); Damian McGivern (Director of Employability and Marketing); David Hilditch (DUP); Alastair Ross (DUP); Sammy Douglas (DUP); Fra McCann (Sinn Fein); Robin Swann (Chair DEL Committee, UUP); Shauna McCloy (Career Development Centre); Bronwyn McGahan (Sinn Fein); Angela Hamilton (Career Development Centre)