Canlyniadau 1–20 o 3679 ar gyfer speaker:Conor Murphy

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Executive Committee Business: Insolvency (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2024 ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: I beg to move That the draft Insolvency (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2024 be approved.

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Executive Committee Business: Insolvency (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2024 ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: I seek the Assembly's approval for the draft Insolvency (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2024. The order increases three of the monetary limits for access to my Department's debt relief scheme. The scheme was set up in 2011 and assists some of the most vulnerable people to obtain relief from problem debt. It is based on a similar scheme that operates in England and...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Executive Committee Business: Insolvency (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2024 ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: I thank those who contributed to the debate. I particularly thank the Chair and members of the Committee for their scrutiny of the draft order and support for it. Philip McGuigan makes important points about the support that we need to provide for people who find themselves in problem debt and about the work that charities and other organisations do in that regard. I am glad that the order is...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: The Member is correct that SKILL UP has been popular and accessible, and the feedback has supported that. It got the lion's share of the funding available to go into skills. We look forward to getting more detail on the number of people who will join that and the types of course. There is something like 300 courses that people can access. We are pleased to be able to continue that. In...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: There are a number of issues where alignment and removal of barriers would be welcome. In years gone by, a significantly higher number of students were accessing universities North and South from either part of the island. Some work has been undertaken on the leaving cert and A-level equivalence that is required in respect of the award of points to secure entry, but there is more to do. There...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: Both Ministers have come together with our officials. We have agreed that, while the Careers Service is provided from the Department for the Economy and schools are the primary deliverer of that, we are concerned that there is inconsistency in its delivery. There is not, perhaps, consistency in making sure that young people, particularly in the 14- to 15-year-old bracket when they get careers...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: The funding for Coleraine will come in under the UU's allocation, and the UU is committed to all of its campuses to make sure that there is continued growth. There was a specific NDNA commitment in relation to the Magee campus; it is my responsibility to lead delivery on that, but it is an Executive-wide responsibility. We want to see availability on all campuses from UU, and it has stated...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: The task force continues to meet regularly. I think that it met yesterday, and it will continue to meet over the summer. Some of the areas that it is looking at, I am told, include accommodation and the relationship between the university, which is expanding and will continue to expand, and the residents around it to make sure that Magee is a good neighbour. There are precedents in that...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: Like most elected representatives of any experience here, we will know of and will have met people in that situation in our constituencies. When they reach the age of 19, they are no longer the responsibility of the Department of Education or further or higher education and effectively fall off the edge of a cliff from the system, and there is little provision for them. We are committed to...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: I would attribute the decline to, first, financial issues. The fact is that support for universities has been reduced year-on-year, so it has been difficult to increase numbers. As I said, the level of support for students who come from households that have a low income has remained static because our budgets have been under pressure for so long. That makes university inaccessible for a lot...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: As I said, some of the students were taken at risk in last year's intake. Ulster University covered those in the hope and anticipation that the Department would provide the finances for that eventually. As I said, that, to me, demonstrates its commitment to Magee. It also demonstrates our commitment, in that we found the finances to support that and found further finances for additional...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: I agree with the Member, being a rural dweller myself, although I do not frequent the rural pub as often as I would like. The tourism task force, which we are putting together with representatives from across the industry along with officials, will take forward what was in the tourism strategy and turn it into an implementation plan. As with all these things, it will not be confined to one...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: In February, I set out my strategic objectives for the economy: good jobs, productivity, regional balance and net zero. All four of those objectives are underpinned by skills. The Department has therefore been recalibrating its skills agenda in line with those objectives. Before the Assembly goes into recess, I will update Members on some of this work. Our skills ecosystem has many strengths:...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: Skills Agenda: Update ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: As I said, we have been making significant progress on Magee. There is a tendency among some sectors in Derry to downplay that progress. I do not understand that. Nonetheless, we have been making significant progress. The 150 students who came in last year were funded at risk by Ulster University, and, to me, that demonstrates the university's commitment to growth and expansion at Magee. That...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: With your permission, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle [Translation: Mr Deputy Speaker] , I wish to make a statement in compliance with section 52 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on a meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) in tourism sectoral format. The meeting was held in Armagh on 24 June 2024. Junior Minister Pam Cameron MLA accompanied me, representing the Northern Ireland...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: Yes, that was part of the discussion at the sectoral meeting. Minister Martin and the Southern Administration understand clearly the concerns that we have, the challenges that the ETA would present to travel across the island and the impact that it would have on Tourism Ireland, for which we share responsibility. That is my position. I wrote to the outgoing Administration in London on the...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: The terms of reference have to be fully agreed by both Ministers. Where that perception exists, we need to make sure that it does not take hold and is addressed. We have set up the joint coordination group, which will involve the three agencies and both Departments working collectively. Tourism Ireland, in my experience, is very keen to promote all 32 counties of Ireland. I know that it makes...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: We had hoped that that announcement would be made around this time, but there are still some minor issues to be resolved with one of the agencies. There is a Shared Island contribution for promoting the Wild Atlantic Way right across the north coast, including Derry and Antrim. That will provide some support and build up the capacity of tourism in those areas to take advantage of that brand,...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: There is a general sense across all the tourism organisations that it is not good news. That is why we have made representations already to the Government in London, although we did not receive much by way of response. There have been discussions in the Executive, and there is a recognition across the Executive that the scheme is not good for tourism. It is certainly not good for our economic...

Cynulliad Gogledd Iwerddon: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Tourism ( 2 Gor 2024)

Conor Murphy: The Member hits on a point that is widely recognised and was part of the conversation. We received a presentation at the tourism sectoral meeting about efforts to try to promote tourism and hospitality as a career choice, rather than just something that people get into through part-time work before moving on to other areas or continuing their studies. I met Hospitality Ulster, and we launched...


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