Efforts must be made to provide employment for marginalised groups
Sinn Féin MLA and Chairperson of the Employment and Learning Committee, Sue Ramsey, will tomorrow call on employers to strive to ensure that marginalised groups are provided with employment opportunities. Ms Ramsey will make the call at an event organised by the Equality Commission entitled 'Bridge the gap - improving Access to Employment' at Belfast Castle tomorrow, Tuesday the 3rd March at 10am
Speaking ahead of the event Ms Ramsey said:
"The issue at the heart of this event is the improvement of access to employment by marginalised groups. The Employment and Learning Committee seeks to raise the profile of this issue and I thank the Equality Commission for giving me the opportunity to speak on this issue today.
"The Committee has worked closely with the Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey, and his department in improving access to employment and I would urge all potential employers who have not done so already to engage with the department and explore the options offered for bringing marginalised groups into employment.
"Those with disabilities, either physical or learning and groups like Travellers often find themselves overlooked by employers; and disengaged youth need an innovative approach to help them access work.
"In today's economic climate employers may find it difficult keeping their workforce intact without seeking to bring in additional workers from marginalised groups. There are however programmes and groups who can aid employers to do so.
"The department, along with groups working in the community and voluntary sectors, can provide a great deal of advice and support to enable employers to look at how to bring employment to those who have been marginalised and integrate them into the workforce.
"In essence we are all part of the same community and reaching out to marginalised groups benefits us all. To deny these groups employment opportunities is an opportunity missed."