‘Young people let down by lack of jobs creation strategy’ – Bradley
SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley MLA has said there is a growing belief amongst the public that Invest NI is not up to mark of job creation and has been ‘let off the leash’ by the DETI Minister to date.
Bradley was speaking after the SDLP tabled the issue of youth unemployment in the Assembly on Monday. Bradley said our young people have become ‘demoralized’ by the failure of the Executive to offer them a chance to contribute to any economic revival here.
“We are looking at the prospect of a lost generation here, let’s not sugar-coat the problem. In fact there is hardly a family or home in the north that hasn’t been hit by unemployment or emigration.”
“The Stormont Executive is sleepwalking into creating a generation of disaffected, let down and demoralized young people – a tsunami is coming if the relevant ministers do not wake up.
Bradley continued, “Many young people have put themselves through education and have placed themselves in a lot of debt to get that much needed qualification, hoping it would give them a head-start and yet all that awaits them is unemployment.”
“There is a growing feeling, particularly in places like Newry and Armagh, that Invest NI is not up to the job, that they have been let off the leash by the Enterprise Minister to get whatever number of jobs they can without seeking to address spatial investment need.”
He added, “Day in and day out we see millions of pounds in grants going to large firms to come to the North, a lot of whom offer minimum wage jobs – jobs that many of our people are over qualified for – but jobs that are in the DEL Minister’s list of ‘economically important’ sectors.”
“Unfortunately the directionless of the Executive’s Investment Strategy, or the NEETs Strategy, or Pathways to Success, or that Steps2Success is the golden bullet for our graduates. The golden bullet is jobs, and the Executive has lost credibility and firepower.”
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