Northern Ireland

NI 'needs more investment in skills' says businessman Gavin Killeen

Gavin Killeen
Image caption Gavin Killeen is the managing director of Londonderry firm Nuprint Technologies

Northern Ireland needs more investment to provide the skilled workforce necessary to grow its economy, a leading businessman has said.

Gavin Killeen is the managing director of the Londonderry firm Nuprint Technologies, which prints labels for several UK high street retailers.

He said it was essential a new Northern Ireland Executive was established to take such strategic decisions.

Mr Killeen was speaking on the BBC's Inside Business programme.

"We've the highest uptake of people leaving school, going to university, but we have the lowest level of provision," he said.

"Every year, a third of our young people leave the province and we're then left with the people at the other end who are either failed or failed by education.

"So this needs to be addressed and this needs to be a critical thing for our executive."

Image caption Gavin Killeen (second from right) is a guest on this week's Inside Business, hosted by Wendy Austin

The previous Northern Ireland Executive collapsed in January following a row over an £490m overspend on a green energy scheme.

A snap election was held on 2 March and the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin were returned as the two largest parties.

All the political parties were given a three-week deadline to form a new power-sharing government, or face a second snap election.

Mr Killeen is a former president of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.

He is also member of the board of governors of Foyle and Londonderry College and North West Regional College.

He said: "It's really important that we have an executive that's functioning in three week's time, that can address these issues".

Inside Business will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster at 13:30 GMT on Sunday 12 March.