The MEGA Cluster, representing a consortium of manufacturing and engineering companies, has reiterated its commitment to supporting the objectives outlined in the new Economic Mission for Northern Ireland: Executive Summary. This coincides with a focus on the key recommendations released in the MEGA Skills Survey this week.

MEGA have launched a ‘Skills Survey Outcomes Report’ this week following comprehensive engagement with the large member network of Mid-Ulster and surrounding area companies. Aimed at assessing skill gaps and training needs within the industry, this has provided invaluable insights for strategic decision-making and workforce development into the future.

Key findings from the survey include the challenge of significant skills gaps whilst highlighting an urgent need for targeted investment in training and development. Additionally, government support has been highlighted as crucial with a spotlight on apprenticeships and training programs if the challenges are to be addressed effectively.

MEGA Cluster Empowers Companies for Productivity and Growth in Manufacturing & Engineering Sector 

Darragh Cullen, MEGA Chair and MD of Edge Innovate, believes MEGA member companies are well-placed to contribute to the key objectives of the new Economic Mission for Northern Ireland. By increasing the number of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities and promoting regional balance, the network’s drive is to support economic growth and create greater opportunities for the local workforce.

“As Chair of MEGA, I appeal to the Department for Economy to recognise the importance of our initiatives in addressing the skills gaps and driving innovation within the manufacturing and engineering sector. We must accelerate our efforts to ensure a more prosperous future for our industry and the Northern Ireland economy as a whole. But government support is essential in making this a reality.” 

The shifting priorities identified in the survey highlight the dynamic nature of the industry. Embracing advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotics to drive growth and competitiveness is apparent. MEGA is committed to supporting initiatives that align with these evolving priorities to ensure the continued success and growth of the sector.

Maria Curran, MEGA Project Director, reflected on MEGA’s in-depth analysis of the survey findings and emphasised the network’s strategic recommendations in addressing identified skills gaps; including targeted investment in training programs, advocacy for increased government support and fostering collaboration with educational institutions and policymakers. 

“The very clear message is that investing in people and skills remains essential for Northern Ireland companies. An increase in apprenticeship uptake from 5% to 7% since 2023, alongside a heightened focus on diversity within member companies, reflects our shared dedication to cultivating a diverse and skilled workforce. 

“By actively engaging in MEGA activities, training, and networking opportunities, companies are reinforcing their growth and development initiatives. MEGA therefore remains steadfast in our commitment to assist companies in implementing the survey recommendations.

“On behalf of MEGA, I extend our gratitude to all member companies for their continued significant engagement which will undoubtedly impact our sector positively and help drive a brighter and more prosperous future for manufacturing and engineering in Northern Ireland into the future.”

The invaluable contributions to the survey have enabled a highly comprehensive outcomes report produced with detailed analytics that portray clear ambitions and commitment to sustainable growth, development and advancing the industry. 

The Executive Summary and full Survey Outcomes Report can be viewed on the MEGA Website at this link:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Maria Curran, Project Direct MEGA Cluster (Manufacturing & Engineering Growth & Advancement)