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Dickson Reassured by Invest NI Support for the Aerospace Manufacturing Industry

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has reassured the aerospace manufacturing industry of the support available to them as covid continues to cause problems for the sector.

Mr Dickson said: “I was concerned about the support available to the sector so I posed a question to the Department for the Economy. I found the department’s response very reassuring, with Invest NI taking the lead in making sure this important industry remains resilient.

“Invest NI has offered over £2.8m in grant support, £3.3m in support for innovation, and almost £3m in support for skills. They have also entered into a partnership with ADS to develop several sector specific programmes offering additional support”.

ADS is the trade organisation for companies in the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors. The partnership between ADS and Invest NI has brought about a variety of programmes including the Aerospace Technology Institute, the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme, and Sharing in Growth and 21st Century Supply Chain Programme (SC21) Competitiveness & Growth.

Invest NI has also invested over £1m in an aerospace diversification programme to identify potential new target sectors, markets and customers, along with a review of sector capabilities.

Mr Dickson commented: “I was also glad to hear that careers advice has been given to almost 250 individuals in the aviation sector since April. The aerospace sector is vital to the Northern Irish economy, so ensuring we have the right skills and an able talent pool will hold us in good stead for the future.”

The Department for the Economy explained that this advice includes directing individuals to the programmes funded by the Department including the Assured Skills Academies and the new Flexible Skills Programme (FSP). Both of these initiatives provide short term training to assist individuals into employment.

In the last financial year almost 6,000 individuals benefited from the FSP, whilst the department plans to deliver 47 Assured Skills Academies in 2021-22.

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