The skills system will be crucial to meeting the challenges and changes facing Northern Ireland in the coming years.

The skills system, through its learners and the employers it works with, can be at the centre of driving the inclusive growth we need to see in Northern Ireland to deliver economic and social justice. For learners, the skills system could be critical in helping them to secure the best possible life chances, pay increases and career progression, readying them to adapt to changes in the kinds of jobs we do and need.

Equally, for employers, the skills system can be at the centre of helping firms to adapt to and exploit opportunities, bring greater efficiencies and productivity, and drive a stronger economic performance in Northern Ireland. For the skills system to do this, it must meet the challenges it faces both now and in the future.