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Working with business in Northern Ireland

Working with employers and meeting their skills and innovation needs in Northern Ireland is a key priority for The Open University. With more than 50 years’ experience of distance learning, we know how adults learn and we know how businesses learn.  The Open University specialises in part-time, flexible, distance learning that suits businesses.

How The Open University can help you as an employer?

The OU works with over 2,400 employers to help find the right learning and development solutions.  We have vast experience working with organisations of different sizes and over a wide range of sectors to find flexible learning that drives business success. At the OU, we provide professional learning and development solutions according to organisational needs.

The appropriate solution may be developing and delivering a tailor-made programme for your organisation:

  • 600 + learning modules across a range of subjects
  • Learning modules and tutor support can be adapted to enrich in-house training programmes
  • We can accredit in-house training, creating a route for staff to gain a recognised qualification

These are just some of the ways we can in which we can work with organisations in Northern Ireland and your staff to help you excel and grow.


Our adaptable approach enables us to work with a number of local employer representative groups in Northern Ireland.


Confederation of British Industry Northern Ireland

We work closely with CBI NI to gain insight into the skills and training challenges that employers in Northern Ireland are facing and to support them in lobbying the Northern Ireland Executive to invest more extensively in skills provision. We sit alongside key education partners and employers on CBI NI’s skills and employment committee.

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We are corporate members of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber). This membership is vital for networking with businesses across Northern Ireland and to support the Chamber in their role as advocates for the skills development needs of their member organisations.

Institute of Directors Northern Ireland

We work together with the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland to help support business leaders across Northern Ireland.  We are proud sponsors of their Women's Leadership Conference for the last few years.

Why The Open University?

From affordability to scalability, we have a learning and development solution to meet every business need.

At The Open University we understand industry and that is why so many organisations choose to work with us.

We are:

  • Flexible: offering 400 + modules, our teaching methods are flexible and we can adapt solutions to your organisations unique needs.
  • Practical:  we offer solutions that cause minimal disruption to your organisation
  • Diverse: we have a range of diverse business solutions to meet all the needs you may have and more.  We can upskill your employees, help you to attract and retain new staff and work with you to nurture future leaders
  • Value for money: Our business solutions cost less than you might think.  We even have free options available.  What employees learn with us they can apply to the workplace immediately, delivering an instant return on investment
  • Scalable: Our scalable solutions will meet the needs of your organisation, whether you wish to develop one employee or 1,000 across multiple sites worldwide.


Podcast Microphone

Podcasts: Business

Our business podcast series takes a close look at the current issues facing local industry in Northern Ireland and draws insight from key players and influencers of business across Northern Ireland. 

Our first two episodes look at the recent consultation from The Department for the Economy, Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland: Skills for a 10x Economy, and how businesses in Northern Ireland have been affected by COVID-19 and Brexit.  


For further information:

Lynsey Quinn

Senior Manager Skills and Partnerships