Executive £200m jobs initiative revealed

Published Wednesday, 07 November 2012
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A £200m economy and jobs initiative to support people, businesses and investment has been announced by the Executive.

More than 4,600 people will be supported through the new measures which will provide skills training and employability.

The initiative is in addition to commitments made by the Executive in the Programme for Government and Economic Strategy, it was confirmed.

A statement from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister said that politicians are taking action to ensure the unemployed have access to the right training, skills and education opportunities.

The statement said that ministers are particularly focused "on the needs of young people and other disadvantaged groups."

Among the steps being introduced are waged employment opportunities for 1,700 young people of a minimum of six months duration.

These will be created within either the private, public or voluntary and community sectors.

There will also be help for older people out of work.

Around 1100 over-50s, who have been jobless for more than 12 months, will take up temporary paid employment of up to 26 weeks in the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Meanwhile, for small businesses, a rate relief scheme will be extended to provide around 3500 business ratepayers with a 20% discount.

A new Invest NI 'Skills Growth' scheme will be introduced for small businesses (up to 50 employees) which would provide 50% grant towards training costs.

Car parking charges in towns and city centres will be frozen until at least 2015.

Elsewhere, the construction industry is set to get a helping hand.

More than £40m will be set aside to deliver a range of projects in the current financial year to support the sector.

As part of this funding further resources will be made available to improve schools - including addressing the damage at Arvalee School and Resource Centre in Omagh which was destroyed by fire at the beginning of September.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "I am pleased that we are able to announce this package which will provide a significant boost to the economy in Northern Ireland and provide employment, particularly for our young people and those who have been out of work for long periods."

The DUP leader said the development shows "that by working together the Executive continues to deliver on our Programme for Government commitment to grow the economy and contribute to rising levels of employment by supporting the promotion of over 25,000 new jobs."

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added: "The Executive is responding flexibly to the needs of those hit hardest by the recession and taking action to ensure those out of work have access to the right training, skills and education opportunities.

"These employment measures are particularly focused on the needs of young people to help them get into work."

The Sinn Féin minister said that the Executive is "already committed" to delivering over £5bn of capital investment during this budget period.

"To boost employment in the construction sector this package will deliver a range of new measures to improve our schools, roads and accelerate nearly £60m of capital projects."

© UTV News
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1 Comments
steven in belfast wrote (529 days ago):
What we have here is no more than words,when will the £360m Belfast city centre development start,when will the devolopment of the maze site start.We need the jobs now,not years down the line.
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