Northern Ireland’s six Regional Colleges are key economic drivers. They directly meet the training needs of local and international companies and provide a full suite of Business Support Services, including product development and rapid prototyping. They also have a number of world class Centres of Excellence (e.g. Composites, Manufacturing, Open Source Software).
- Enterprise, Entrepreneurship & Business Start
- Training & Workforce Development
- Knowledge Transfer & Innovation
The six Regional Colleges are the largest provider of professional and technical training in the region. They make a significant high quality contribution to addressing the current and future skills needs of local and regional business.
Colleges are business-facing and provide a high level of interaction with local companies in developing training. They are working with businesses across Northern Ireland to provide relevant training and skills, supporting innovation and have an important role in developing the capacity of our economy to move out of recession. Business support extends beyond the provision of training and workforce development and includes a wide range of support activities aimed at improving business competitiveness and productivity.
Practical business support solutions include:
- Product Design & Prototyping;
- Lean manufacturing;
- Business Improvement Techniques;
- Market Research and Marketing;
- Computer Systems & Software applications including free Open Source Software options.
The six Regional Colleges supported 4,500 business and 20,000 employees/ business owners/managers in 2009/10.
Tailored support programmes can be developed with dedicated College Business Support Units located in each of the Colleges.
A third of companies working with Colleges get support with training/workforce development programmes.
A majority of companies work with Colleges through knowledge transfer programmes and other business support services that utilise College expertise and resources to help grow their business.
- Invest Northern Ireland Innovation (INI) Voucher Scheme
- Knowledge Transfer Programmes - including KTP & Fusion
- Mentoring & Consultancy
- Open Source IT support Programme
- Interact Programme
- Manufacture – Innovate – Grow (MIG) Programme
- Carbon Zero NI
- Connected Programme
- Invest NI Enterprise Development Programme (EDP)