Unemployed youths fear for future

Published Wednesday, 18 January 2012
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One in five young people in Northern Ireland are still searching for work, despite a drop in the region's unemployment figures.

An estimated 59,000 people are out of work across the region, a rate of 6.8%, which is down by 7,000 over both the quarter and year.

The figures, released by the Department of Enterprise on Wednesday, compare favourably to the UK average of 8.4% and the Republic of Ireland's 14.3%.

However the number of people claiming benefits in NI has gone up - rising by 100 in December to reach a total of 60,700.

With 20% of youths in NI out of work, Sara Boyce from Include Youth said the region is at "a very critical juncture".

We've young people who are in their teens and moving into early adulthood who are looking at a future of no opportunities.

Include Youth's Sara Boyce

"One of our concerns is that NEET - young people not in education, employment or training - does not fall down the priority list.

"All government departments have responsibility for this issue in some form or other, so at Executive level there needs to be much more of a commitment."

But without experience in the workplace, many of those young adults feel they could be left behind.

Some of those who take part in training at Include Youth spoke to UTV about their fears for their future.

Part of me thinks I'm going to be stuck on the brew for the rest of my life as it's getting harder and harder to find jobs out there.

Steven, training at Include Youth

DETI Minister Arlene Foster said the figures are "encouraging" but said the local economy is still suffering the effects of the downturn.

She said: "It was encouraging to note the latest labour market figures for Northern Ireland, which showed a rise in employment and a fall in unemployment during the latest quarter.

"However, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits continued to edge upwards and the recent announcement of redundancies by the Ulster Bank provided an unwelcome reminder that the local economy is still experiencing the fall-out from the global financial crisis."

There are currently an estimated at 803,000 people working in Northern Ireland.

Output from the production sector rose by 5.2% between the second and third quarters of 2011, while services rose by 1.9% in the same period - both are ahead of UK averages.

DUP minister Ms Foster added: "I still firmly believe that there are opportunities out there for local businesses to grow.

"Companies from Northern Ireland have a justified reputation for producing high quality, customer-focused products and services and there is no reason why they cannot compete successfully in the wider global marketplace.

"In order to rebalance our economy, it is imperative that more of our businesses take advantage of export markets and exploit the opportunities that exist there."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
marty in aust wrote (1,106 days ago):
This is a big economic killer and an even bigger tax drain.... What do we do with the young people who do not have a trade or are in a worth wile university course??? we need our youth to be driven, motivated and in work....
norman.d in bangor wrote (1,107 days ago):
if young people want a future they wont find it here the economy has gone from bad to worse this last year and worse to come time to get the passport out and immigrate from this sinking europe
paul@mike 2 in Belfast wrote (1,107 days ago):
I'd suggest you learn proper use of capital letters in a sentence before dishing out so called advice. You might come across then as somewhat plausible..
Gerard in Belfast wrote (1,107 days ago):
This is what our MLAs should be concerned about. Only recently we had Alaistar McDonnell more concerned about the plight of those who earn over £40,000 a year plus expenses. Compare that to what a young person gets on jobseekers. And contrary to popular belief, flamed by media frenzy, most of them actually want to work. The jobs are not there.
Aaron in Antrim wrote (1,107 days ago):
Stuck on the brew with a Superdry jacket? I feel for the fella. A good session on how to present yourself and look employable would be a start for those folk. Mike, you'd make a good policitian. Alot to say and none of it is productive or makes any sense.
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