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Local Labour clauses could help tackle unemployment

21 February, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle Assembly election candidate Martina Anderson has said that if ILEX is to maximise the potential of the Fort George, Ebrington and Rosemount Barracks sites then they must ensure that potential development schemes are evaluated not only on the overall financial viability of the proposal but also on the 'community benefit' that accrues through the construction phase of the project.

Ms Anderson said:

"There are a variety of existing models which can provide a template for such an approach. Within Sheffield and Dublin 'local labour clauses' have been agreed in partnership with all the stakeholders that promote and facilitate access by the unemployed, particularly long term unemployed, to the construction element of these urban regeneration projects.

"Derry City Council, in adopting Sinn Féin's motion on the insertion of local labour clauses into development briefs and the establishment of a 'local labour clause working group' are leading the way in this important labour market intervention.

"Sinn Féin now calls upon Ilex and others to actively pioneer this concept within the region not only in projects which Ilex are promoting but also across the city wherever capital projects are in existence.

"The next number of years will see significant expenditure and investment within the city and within the public and private sectors, we must ensure that the benefits are kept within the city and that those presently marginalised within the existing labour market are supported by practical initiatives such as these.

"In the longer term the overall concept of 'community benefit' and how it applies to organisations such as Derry City Council and its successor need to be explored if sustainable economic growth is to be achieved." ENDS

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