NI must address youth unemployment, says Farry

Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry has called on the Northern Ireland Executive to urgently indicate its intentions to introduce a local scheme to address youth employment. This follows the Chancellor announcing the Kickstart scheme for Great Britain two weeks ago.

As Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Farry put in place the Youth Employment Scheme which ran between 2012 and 2015.

It is now two weeks since the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Kickstart scheme providing subsidised jobs for young people in Great Britain, with a very significant Barnett Consequential for the Northern Ireland Executive.

“Northern Ireland has the scope to design its local scheme. We have done so successfully in the past with the Youth Employment Scheme between 2012 and 2015 which involved a range of wage subsidies for employers.

“There has not a word from the Department for Communities, which has primary responsibility through the Employment Service, or the Department for the Economy on even an intention to run a scheme in Northern Ireland, never mind the details.

“Time is slipping by but the need to address youth unemployment is becoming ever greater. I am calling on the Executive to address this as a matter of urgency.”