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Page updated: Wednesday, 9 November, 2022 14:34

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Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week- Call for Company Events
Manufacturing NI sits on the regional planning committee for Apprenticeship Week which will be held on 6th-10th February 2023. We would like to encourage manufacturers to hosts events or activities to coincide with this week. Some examples include;
* Social media activity highlighting the role of apprenticeships in the organisation w/ role models
* Student competitions
* Job sampling / apprenticeship talks / job fairs
* School site visits / open days
* Meet the parents Q&A

Click here for the 2023 proforma ( . Detailed within this form you will see that it will need you to return it to The Department of Economy by COB on Friday 2nd December 2022 at the latest. Your public facing event details will then be listed on NIDirect in preparation for the Department’s Press Release which will launch the NIAW.

Search begins for new board members for the Labour Relations Agency
The Department for the Economy (DfE) has launched a public appointment competition to recruit four new board members to the board of the Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

The LRA is a non-departmental public body with responsibility for promoting the improvement of employment relations in Northern Ireland. The LRA contributes to organisational effectiveness by providing impartial and independent services for promoting good employment practices and preventing and resolving disputes.

The Department wishes to appeal to people of all ages from a wide range of backgrounds and experience across the community, voluntary, business or public sector, who can bring a wide range of skills and experience to the role. DfE would particularly welcome applications from females, people with a disability, those from minority ethnic communities and young people, as they are currently under-represented on the board. The Department is operating a Guaranteed Interview Scheme in this competition for applicants with a disability.

This competition will be of particular interest to people who wish to develop their skills as part of a board and are willing to learn. Previous experience of serving on a board is not necessary as new appointees will undergo an induction programme, as well as being offered peer support.

The rate of remuneration for the LRA board members is £5,643 per annum, for which they will be required to attend the monthly board meeting and undertake other occasional duties on behalf of the LRA. The board members can claim reasonable travel and subsistence costs while undertaking board duties.For further information or to receive an application pack visit:

This is an open competition which involves a simple application form and interview. The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon (GMT) on 24 November 2022

Ambition to Grow
Ambition to Grow is Invest NI's exciting new regionally focused competition aimed at innovative, ambitious businesses is now open for applications.

40 spaces are available and successful applicants will be eligible to apply for funding up to a maximum of £45,000, broken down as follows:
* £5,000 per new job (a minimum of three) created over and above existing employment levels within the business (to a maximum of £30,000).
* £10,000 towards business development activities, where the amount of support provided shall be no more than 50% of the cost eligible activities listed in the application.
* £5,000 on the completion of an export health check and development of an export plan, to the satisfaction of Invest NI.

This initiative has been designed with businesses which are not currently Invest NI client managed customers in mind, and it is anticipated to be extremely beneficial to businesses throughout Northern Ireland.

For more information on the competition please visit the Ambition to Grow webpage ( .

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 25 November 2022.

NI Apprenticeship Awards 2023 Launched
Nominations are now being sought for the prestigious NIAA2023.
The NIAA2023 will recognise and showcase excellence and best practice in the participation and delivery of Apprenticeships. Finalists will be selected and invited to a special awards ceremony on Wednesday 29th March 2023.
These awards honour:
* Valued Apprentices who are making a significant contribution to their workplace and have shown a dedication to excel in their professional development and learning;
* Influential partnerships between Employers and Training Providers that support the continuous growth of skills development in Northern Ireland; and,
* For the first year, Mentors who provide an outstanding contribution to the Apprenticeship programmes.

Applications are now open for five award categories:
* Apprentice Award (Levels 2-3);
* Higher Level Apprentice Award (Level 4+);
* Large Employer in partnership with a Training Provider Award (employers with more than 250 employees);
* Small to Medium-sized Enterprise in partnership with a Training Provider Award (employers with less than 250 employees); and,
* Outstanding Mentor Award.

All nominees for the Apprentice and Higher Level Apprentice Awards must have been on the ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship Programme in 2022.
Completed nomination forms must be returned before 12:00 noon on Friday 18th November 2022 to: (
Full details on application criteria for each of the awards, and how to apply, are available on the Department’s website at:


2022 North West Annual Future of Energy Conference
Thursday 17th November
Everglades Hotel, Derry

This full day conference is jointly hosted by the Chambers of Commerce in Londonderry and Letterkenny, kindly supported by the North West Regional Development Group, and will focus on the opportunities for investment, growth, innovation and job creation and also address the challenges to businesses of rising energy costs.

This event aims to
* Encourage cross border collaboration in the energy sector to the benefit of the whole North West city region
* Provide a platform for knowledge transfer and sharing to support economic growth of the North West region
* Support business growth and innovation in the energy sector
* Support NW businesses to meet sustainability goals in the move to net zero


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Irish Neutrality League launches on UN International Day of Peace
21 Sep 2022; posted by the editor - General, International, Ireland

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) announced today that the Irish Neutrality League (INL) was formally launched, coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Peace, Wednesday 21st September.

Idiot Anti-Nukers Will Only Have Seconds to Say They Were Right
27 Apr 2022; posted by the editor - Features, International

By David Swanson
There’s a lot of funny stuff in politics, but the most ludicrous has got to be these holdovers from the 1980s running around warning that we could all die in a nuclear war. The idiots have not realized that nobody cares, that they look like morons, and that they’ll only have seconds in which to point out that they were right. What sort of awards do they expect to be given in the space of a half a minute?

Through the lens . . .
20 Apr 2022; posted by the editor - Opinion

If the current Russian administration considers that the sanctions imposed by countries of the world due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine are meaningless, then Russia is also saying by the same token that it considers those countries as meaningless.

OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible
14 Mar 2022; posted by the editor - Features, International

By David Swanson

For decades, the U.S. public seemed largely indifferent to most of the horrible suffering of war. The corporate media outlets mostly avoided it, made war look like a video game, occasionally mentioned suffering U.S. troops, and once in a blue moon touched on the deaths of a handful of local civilians as if their killing were some sort of aberration.

Russian and Ukraine
03 Mar 2022; posted by the editor - Opinion

It is NOT OK for Russian President Putin to consider he has any right to invade an independent country on the pretext of lies.
It is NOT OK to ignore this.
Given world opinion on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, humanity has the duty of removing such naligned people from power and of squeezing such corrupt garbage out of existence

Today's comment
22 Feb 2022; posted by the editor - Opinion

In times gone by John Lennon said whilst alive that the world, in his opinion, was an insane place run by insane people.

German Court to Rule on UK Spycop's Operations
26 Jan 2022; posted by the editor - Human Rights, Europe, European Union, United Kingdom, Germany

A court in Schwerin, Germany will decide this week whether a British undercover police officer's spying was legal under German law.

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Other news from the region
Direct news input story index
Irish Neutrality League launches on UN International Day of Peace - 21 Sep 2022 filed by the editor - General, International, Ireland
Idiot Anti-Nukers Will Only Have Seconds to Say They Were Right - 27 Apr 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International
Through the lens . . . - 20 Apr 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible - 14 Mar 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International
Russian and Ukraine - 03 Mar 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
Today's comment - 22 Feb 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
German Court to Rule on UK Spycop's Operations - 26 Jan 2022 filed by the editor - Human Rights, Europe, European Union, United Kingdom, Germany

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