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End Derry’s ‘brain drain’ - Anderson

26 February, 2008


Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has insisted that more must be done to give Derry's young people the opportunity to make a live for themselves in their native city.

Ms. Anderson said:

"No-one can deny that the young people of this city have been failed by decades of neglect and under-investment.

"What little jobs that have come here have tended to be low-paid because this city was marketed as a cheap labour economy. Even those jobs are now being lost in ever increasing numbers as big business relocates to foreign shores where they can exploit an even lower wage economy.

"However, I believe the return of devolution offers us a very real opportunity to begin to reverse the situation where our young people see very little option but to leave Derry if they are to make decent life for themselves.

"I believe the political will is there among all parties and there is a genuine realisation that the ways of the past have to change.

"But we can't do it on our own. The private sector must also adopt the ethos of the 'Stand Up For Derry' campaign and realise that investing in our young people will be beneficial for us all in the long-term.

"Whether that is providing apprenticeships, training projects or encouraging entrepreneur-incentive schemes, we all have a responsibility to nourish the talent and potential of our young people.

"And now is the time to act. There is a massive amount of planned investment for Derry in the coming years and we must ensure that it is used to its maximum potential to transform this city into the kind of place where our young people can build a future and where investors will want to locate and create high-quality employment.

"I believe that the university will be key to much of that process. If Magee can be turned into a genuine world-class campus - perhaps in partnership with the Letterkenny institute - we can transform the fortunes of the entire city.

"International experience has shown that a city producing high-end graduates will attract high-end investment and high-end jobs.

"That will in turn boost the city's economy and not only will we be attracting students and investment from outside, we will also be giving our own young people the chance to stay in their home town and build a better future for us all." ENDS

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