Home Resident Skilled and Enterprising Economy

Skilled and Enterprising Economy

Skilled and Enterprising Economy

The Skilled and Enterprising Thematic Action Planning brings together people from a wide range of local organisations, including the public, voluntary and community sectors and local businesses. The team first met in September 2017 to develop a shared action plan with actions we will take towards achieving the Skilled and Enterprising Economy Outcomes.

The team have agreed a Terms of Reference and have adopted the following principles to guide their work in all that we do:

  • Honesty and trust,
  • Mutual respect and understanding
  • Open and honest communication
  • Responsiveness
  • A willingness to really listen to people and what they think is important to them and their community
  • Willingness to deliver
  • Collaboration not just cooperation

The team a shared understanding for community planning to work we need everyone working together.

The following are our aspiration we wish to achieve for all people in our borough

Skilled Economy: People are better equipped to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by our dynamic economy

Enterprising Economy: Our borough is a centre of excellence for entrepreneurship, innovation and investment

‘Connected’ the first community plan for our borough outlines the five population indicators shown below which are aligned to the Skilled and Enterprising Economy.  The indicator tells us what we are seeking to improve; we will we track our progress against these overtime to ensure we are heading in the right direction.


  • Percentage of the workforce in employment qualified to level 1 and above, level 2 and above, level 3 and above, and level 4 and above
  • Employment rate (age 16-64)


  • Number of VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses
  • Business birth rates
  • Survival rates of newly born businesses

Using Evidence

Were continually working to improve our knowledge of people and communities to help develop new plans for local services.  Our Skilled and Enterprising Economy action plan comes from a broad base of evidence that has been gathered using local and national statistics, identification of needs and issues from SEETAP members, current programmes and service mapping and community engagement.

Some our challenges include…

  • Nearly half of the people in the borough are qualified to Level 2 or below and there is a projected oversupply of low or no skills in the NI labour market
  • The borough has the lowest rate of university entrance, but the highest rate of entry into further education colleges
  • The proportion of people claiming unemployment is low at 1.9% but nearly a third of those claiming have been claimants for over a year; one quarter of claimants are under 25
  • Employment rates for women is 66% and 72% for men
  • 20% of economically inactive people want to work
  • Local employers find it hard to recruit people with various skill areas and levels
  • Business birth rate similar to NI average, but below UK.

Indicator Baseline

A statistical baseline has been prepared and forms part of a suite of six baselines covering all nine long-term outcomes from ‘Connected 2017-2030.  This baseline has focused on the 5 indicators that underpin the Skilled and Enterprising Economy outcomes of our community plan.  A statistical presentation and baseline report are available for download below.


Review of current activity, an initial mapping exercise was carried out with partners involved in the TAP team.  There were returns from 12 organisations.  This was used as a starting point for informing actions.  It will be built on through the life span of the action plan which may inform future actions and identify new approaches and initiatives in the borough.

Community Engagement

In order to extend our reach and include more voices into the action planning process SEE members done some community engagement. This engagement allowed us to build the story behind the baseline.

What we asked…

  1. What are the main issues?
  2. What impact do they have on you/your service users
  3. What is currently working well to address them?
  4. What organisations/services would you like to see working together more and why?

What the community told us…


  • Cost of transport and childcare is a barrier to gaining employment and training
  • Too many students are leaving school with narrow qualifications or do not reflect employer’s needs

Working well

  • Shared and common aim and purpose from the outset
  • Joint responsibility, ownership and team working
  • Inclusion and diversity

The partners in this action planning process have listened to what people have to say, considered the evidence and bringing their own experience to and expertise to collaboratively design an action plan that is meaningful and will bring about real change.

To help realise the outcomes four strategic fours for each outcome have been identified.

Skilled Economy

  • Localise Careers Advice and Guidance for lifelong learning
  • Increase coordination of skills and employment services, business and statutory agencies
  • Explore a local skills/employability pipeline to provide a service pathway focussed on the individual
  • Support local businesses to recruit highly skilled, specialist roles

Enterprising Economy

  • Encourage collaboration and signposting to support start-ups and existing businesses
  • Improve links between the private sector and schools training providers to support entrepreneurship activities in new and growing markets
  • Help create the conditions for investment and growth

These action plans have been developed as a result of collaborative working and demonstrate that by working together and by sharing information new ways of tackling problems can be developed.

What’s next?

For each of the action identified partners will work to identify performance measures which will tell us:

  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do it?
  • Is anyone better of as a result

The action plan will be living document and actions may change according to changing needs.

The team will continue to make progress in this theme and will meeting twice per year to ensure that a collaborative approach is taken moving forward.

Meetings and workshops

Any business or activity that takes place in our Skilled and Enterprising Economy Thematic Action Planning Team will be published here so that you can keep up to date with what is happening.


Please contact the Community Planning team at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council if you have any further enquiries:

E: or T: 028 40660644

Each thematic action planning team will report to the Community Planning Strategic Partnership every six months.  The Progress reports provide an update from the Chair and show the performance of the Skilled and Enterprising Economy actions.

The Chair of the skilled and enterprising economy action planning team reports to the Partnership in March and September.