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Deputy First Minister addresses Future Together conference

12 March, 2008


Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said local community groups should have a significant role to play in the success of the forthcoming economic investment conference.

He was speaking at the Future Together Initiative Conference in Belfast, organised by the Future Together Initiative a north Belfast based inter-community advocacy groups.

The conference aims to explore and develop action plans for how communities can participate in the opportunities from the major Investment Conference in May.

Speaking to the delegates the deputy First Minister said:

"Growing a dynamic, innovative economy is the top priority within the Executive's Programme for Government. However, we recognise that building a strong economy requires a healthy, well educated population, high quality public services, a commitment to use prosperity to tackle disadvantage and a tolerant, inclusive and stable society if we are to attract the investment and skills needed to promote growth.

"Wealth creation and job creation must and will impact on all areas of social and physical development and it is an issue that we are committed to managing carefully across all departments.

"When we asked the businesses what attracts them to locations we were told that workforce comes very high on the agenda. Businesses will look for a pool of people, provision of good training, business friendly environment and modern infrastructure.

"Representatives from the community sector will be involved in the economic investment conference in May and hopefully will help encourage many of the targeted businesses to locate here. Together when meeting the businesses we must stress that in our communities we have people here who are keen to work, able to learn new skills, adaptable to new business environments, that there is good training to work on higher added value jobs and a community sector that works with government and the business community."

NOTES TO EDITORS:


Conference held on Wednesday 12 March in the Lansdowne Hotel Belfast. Other speakers included John McGuinness, Irish Minister for Trade and Commerce, David Gavaghan, George Quigley. Conference organisers are Irene Sherry and John Loughran.

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