Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan and member of Employment and Learning committee has said that there needs to be a coordinated approach to tackling long-term unemployment in the Dungannon area.
Ms. McGahan said: “In response to a question I asked Department of Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry it was revealed that there are over 9000 people over the age of 25 in the Dungannon area out of work.
“While the Department was unable to quantify the under of people under 25 out of work I am sure that the figure is also high.
“I also asked the Minister what measures he was taking to address the problem and was given a plethora of schemes that were available.
“These schemes includes Steps 2 Success, Pathways to Success, Steps Ahead 50+, Condition Management Programme and Return to Work Credit. On top of these they are several courses through community groups and educational colleges as well as specialised course for people with disabilities.
“While all these courses are welcome I believe that there needs to be more joined up approach to bring about long term outcomes in moving people into full time employment as at present the majority of people doing these courses return to benefits at the end of their term.
“People are getting passed from one course to another with little financial benefit for their work and this is causing consternation amongst the unemployment who are seeing this as a way of massaging unemployment figures as opposed to getting a full time job.
“I am calling on the Minister to review these schemes and look at a more coordinated approach to getting people back into full time work”