Department for Employment and Learning

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Department for Employment and Learning
An Roinn Fostaíochta agus Foghlama; Ulster Scots: Depairtment for Employ an Learnin
Department overview
Formed December 1999 (as Department of Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment)
Preceding Department Department of Economic Development & Department of Education
Jurisdiction Northern Ireland
Headquarters Adelaide House, 39–49 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8FD
Employees 2,111 (September 2011)[1]
Annual budget £787.3 million (current) & £41.2 million (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Minister responsible Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning
Website www.delni.gov.uk
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The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), (Irish: An Roinn Fostaíochta agus Foghlama;[3] Ulster Scots: Depairtment for Employ an Learnin),[4] is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister for Employment and Learning. The department was initially known as the Department of Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment (DHFETE), between 1999 and 2001.

Aim[edit]

DEL's overall aim is to "promote learning and skills, to prepare people for work and to support the economy".[5] The incumbent Minister is Dr Stephen Farry (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland).[6]

Responsibilities[edit]

The department's network of 'job centres' and 'jobs and benefits offices' advertise job opportunities for Northern Ireland residents. It is also responsible for policy in the following areas:[7]

  • further education
  • higher education
  • skills and training
  • employment rights and responsibilities

The Department of Education is responsible for all other levels of education in Northern Ireland.[8] DEL's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

In the Irish Government, its main counterparts are:

History[edit]

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DEL is one of five new devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

The department was named the Department of Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment until 20 July 2001 but was changed to its current title as the initials DHEFETE were pronounced as "Defeat".[13]

A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption. The Independent Review of Economic Policy, which reported in September 2009, recommended a single economic policy department within the Northern Ireland Executive, which would result in the abolition of DEL.[22]

On 11 January 2012, the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness respectively, announced their intention to abolish the department.[23] The department's functions would be "divided principally" between the Department of Education and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment "in an agreed manner". The proposal was resisted by the Alliance Party,[24] which viewed it as "power grab" by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, but was approved on 18 January 2012.[25] No timescale for the abolition was outlined and the department remained in operation, as of late March 2012.

Ministers for Employment and Learning[edit]

Minister IMage Party Took office Left office
    Sean Farren No image.svg SDLP 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Sean Farren No image.svg SDLP 30 May 2000 14 December 2001[26]
    Carmel Hanna No image.svg SDLP 14 December 2001 14 October 2002
Office suspended
    Sir Reg Empey John White, Reg Empey, Roy Beggs (cropped Empey).JPG UUP 8 May 2007 27 October 2010
    Danny Kennedy DannyKennedy.jpg UUP 27 October 2010 5 May 2011
    Stephen Farry StephenFarry.jpg Alliance 16 May 2011 Incumbent

Direct rule ministers[edit]

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Northern Ireland Quarterly Employment Survey Historical Data". Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Budget 2011–15". Department of Finance and Personnel. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Customer Service Standards 2007–2008" (in Irish). Department for Employment and Learning. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Customer Service Standards 2007–2008" (in Ulster Scots). Department for Employment and Learning. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  5. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011–15, page 53
  6. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  7. ^ DEL: About the Department
  8. ^ About the Department of Education
  9. ^ BIS: About BIS
  10. ^ DWP: About DWP
  11. ^ Department of Education and Skills: Functions
  12. ^ Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: About the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  13. ^ http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/northernireland/acts/acts2001/pdf/nia_20010015_en.pdf Department for Employment and Learning Act (Northern Ireland) 2001
  14. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  15. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  16. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  17. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  18. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  19. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  20. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  21. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  22. ^ "Independent Review of Economic Policy". Independent Review of Economic Policy (Northern Ireland). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  23. ^ "Justice 2012 – Stormont Castle proposals". Northern Ireland Executive. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "Ford says cutting Department for Employment and Learning could damage economy". Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Justice 2012 – The Way Forward". Northern Ireland Executive. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  26. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001

External links[edit]