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

Neither jobs nor a jobs fair for Fermanagh - Flanagan

Published: 20 August, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that the exclusion of Fermanagh and Tyrone from a 'series of four major Jobs Fairs and Advice Forums' organised by the Department for Employment and Learning is a shameful indictment of the economic policies of both DEL and DETI and their refusal to meet the programme for government commitment of tackling regional imbalance.

Mr Flanagan was speaking after the Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry announced that these events would be taking place in Newry, Derry, Ballymoney and Belfast over the months of September and October.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, who is a member of both the DEL and DETI scrutiny committees said:

"I am appalled at the decision by DEL to organise a series of jobs fairs and advice forums across the north but not to put one in place for the people of Fermanagh and Tyrone.

"We all know that Invest NI have failed to bring adequate investment into these counties and as a result young people are being forced to emigrate to seek work elsewhere.

"This is strongly evidenced by the fact that Invest NI only brought one single potential investor to Fermanagh in the whole of last year to encourage them to locate in the county, and this was in a year with record numbers of jobs being 'promoted' by Invest NI, but with only 269 of the 13,829 jobs actually being in Fermanagh.

"This is the third year in a row that DEL have organised these events and each year they have failed to organise one in Fermanagh or Tyrone.

"Putting a jobs fair in place for the people of Fermanagh and Tyrone will however not suffice. In a recent report on labour mobility for DEL, 60% of people said that there weren't enough jobs being created in their area.

"What needs to happen is a coherent plan for tackling regional disparity. The current approach and this decision in particular, is a shameful indictment of the economic policies of both DEL and DETI and their refusal to meet the programme for government commitment of tackling regional imbalance." ENDS