Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"A lot more can be done to lower NEET figures" - McGahan

Published: 11 June, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has spoken of her concerns around the number of people not in Employment, full-time Education or Training (NEET) in the Dungannon area.

Following a question to the Minister Stephen Farry, Ms McGahan said,

"Whilst the Department does not have precise NEET figures by area, the Minister estimates that 590 people in the Dungannon district were not in Employment, full-time Education or Training in 2014. He has estimated that in 2015, 390 people fell into this category.

"I recognise that this is a dramatic decline, and I welcome it, however the employment opportunities created in the area are not reflective of a move towards greater employment.

The Employment and Learning spokesperson continues,

"When I asked how his Department intended to address this still worryingly high number, the Minister outlined strategies such as The 'Pathways to Success' approach, 'Enabling Success' scheme and the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme.

"I appreciate the efforts of the Department but I feel a lot more can be done to lower this number and ensure our young people, in particular, are reaching their full potential. Many of the courses on offer actually become a conveyor belt where people are put into work placements over a short period to carry out menial tasks over a twelve week period only to return to NEET's.

"I would call on the Minister to look at long term courses that are based through education in order to allow participants to gain qualifications that they can use to gain meaningful employment and to work with the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister to ensure these employment opportunities are brought to the area." ENDS