Massive opportunity for Derry
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said major redevelopments planned for Derry represent an unprecedented chance to help alleviate the problem of unemployment in the city.
Ms Anderson said:
"The introduction of 'employment plans' when work begins on projects at the former Fort George and Ebrington barracks sites could go a long way in addressing the unemployment in the city area.
"Such plans - which have already been successfully piloted - would require the contractors to employ a certain percentage of long-term unemployed people to carry out the work.
"Major public works are planned for Derry over the coming years at Fort George, Ebrington, the Dove Gardens social housing scheme and the three new health centres across the city.
"We want to ensure that all these projects bring the maximum benefits possible to the people of this city, both in the final outcome and during the construction process. To that end, I have written to the departments responsible and I will also be raising the issue in the Assembly after the summer recess calling for the introduction of employment plans.
"These plans have already been successfully piloted under the 2002 Public Procurement Review. Basically, they mean that any contactor bidding for a public build contact must undertake to employ a certain percentage of unemployed people to carry out the work.
"I believe this would have massive benefits for the people of this city, in particular those socially-deprived areas which have yet to feel any real benefit from government investment.
"Employment plans would give people the chance to get back into work, to learn apprenticeships and be part of creating a lasting, positive legacy for this city.
"This is not pie in the sky stuff. The model is already there. It has been shown to work and Sinn Féin will be insisting that it is rolled out across all public procurement projects in the future." ENDS