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Cross Party Delegation to Meet Department of Employment & Learning

19 January, 2005

A cross Party Delegation accompanied by representatives from Training Organisations will meet with the Department of Employment and Learning on the 19th of January at 11am at Adelaide House, Adelaide Street, Belfast to challenge the Department's decision to end the very successful Worktrack & Learndirect training programmes.

These were programmes aimed at tackling long-term unemployment, by reducing the skills deficit through the enhancement of numeracy, literacy and IT skills.

Commenting upon the meeting Sinn Fein's Spokesperson for Employment & Learning Michael Ferguson said:

"Worktrack has been the most successful programme that has ever been designed, to address long-term unemployment. (54% success rate across the Six Counties).

"Its closure will have long-term consequences not only for the individual unemployed but also for society because it will generate greater intergenerational unemployment that will be more expensive for society to deal with.

"The end of Learndirect will undermine attempts to promote Life Long Learning and contribute to the knowledge based global economy." ENDS

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