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Qualifications comparison service


2 November 2011

New qualifications comparison service for migrant workers

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry, today launched an innovative new qualifications comparison service for workers from outside Northern Ireland.

The Qualifications Comparison Service offers individuals from outside Northern Ireland the opportunity to call into one of Department for Employment and Learning’s Employment Service offices and have their qualifications compared against the UK equivalent. This will enable both them and importantly employers to check whether they have the necessary qualifications to apply for or fulfil the criteria for specific jobs.

Speaking at today’s launch event, the Minister said: “Workers from other EU member states, and indeed beyond, play significant role in our workforce and the wider economy. This service allows individuals to speak to our advisors and have their qualifications checked against the UK equivalent using the National Academic Recognition Information Centre’s web based database. The service is free to the individual and in most cases is a quick and easy procedure. The Qualifications Comparison Service will be an invaluable resource for those wishing to clarify their level of qualification, both for themselves and prospective employers and I would encourage anyone seeking clarity in this area to avail of the service.”

Patrick Yu MBE Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities also speaking at today’s event in welcoming the new service said: “I very much welcome the expansion of the qualification comparison service in Northern Ireland. It is an important process to assist foreign nationals on their recognised qualification under the UK and EU system. It could identify their skills and qualification that assist them to move jobs. We are pleased to see this has now happened. Through our Migrant Centre we will work closely with The Department for Employment and Learning to refer people to this new service.”

The Department for Employment and Learning’s Qualification Comparison Service is available at the following Jobs and Benefits offices; Carrickfergus, Shaftesbury Square, Lisburn, Antrim, Limavady, Dungannon and Portadown. It can also be accessed at the EURES office in Gloucester House, Chichester Street, Belfast.

Notes for editors:

  1. The UK NARIC (United Kingdom National Academic Recognition Information Centre) information service maintains the “International Comparisons” searchable database, which includes comprehensive details of recognised academic and vocational qualifications from over 180 countries. The database allows fast and easy access to information on the comparability of overseas and UK qualifications. Access to the database is available to organisations through yearly membership and enables members to deal with enquiries from a wide range of ethnic groups who wish to have their qualifications compared to UK qualifications standards.
  2. The Department for Employment and Learning has a yearly licence for usage and support of UK NARIC. The service provides advice to non-national clients who wish to have their qualifications checked. The service provided is free; however, there may on occasions be a need for the client to provide a translation of their certificates and relevant transcripts in English.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7466. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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