Finance Minister announces funding for apprenticeships, education and social enterprises

The Executive today agreed allocations of £123 million from COVID-19 funding.

Announcing the latest round of allocations, Minister Murphy said: “The Executive is providing over £47 million to enable schools and further education facilities to safely reopen. This will allow children and young people to return to education in a safe environment while at the same time enabling parents to return to work.

“Recognising the need to ensure young people are provided with the opportunity to gain skills and employment, the Executive is providing over £17 million for apprenticeships.

“£7 million is being provided for social enterprises, many of which employ vulnerable people, with a further £2.5 million towards safely reopening the voluntary and social enterprise sectors.

Concluding Conor Murphy said: “These allocations will help to maintain key public services, support economic recovery, and protect the vulnerable.”

A breakdown of the allocations is as follows:

  • £35 million – schools reopening
  • £27 million – NI Water to offset loss of income from commercial users
  • £20 million – Translink
  • £17.2 million – Apprenticeships
  • £7 million – Social Enterprises
  • £6.4 million – schools PPE
  • £5.5 million – Further Education to provide safe learning environment
  • £2.5 million – safely reopen the Voluntary & Social Enterprise sectors
  • £1.4 million – cover statutory license fees for the bus and taxi industry
  • £1 million – free school meals

The Executive is currently considering its longer-term economic strategy and the needs of the health service which will inform further allocations.