A Mid Ulster councillor is calling on local government to show some leadership in dealing with the skills shortage faced by Northern Ireland.
Accusing some of “whinging about inequalities west of the Bann” UUP councillor Trevor Wilson said now is the time for councils to act as “catalysts for change”.
The Ulster Unionist Party will be putting forward a motion requesting the Minister for Employment and Learning Mr Stephen Farry comes to a future council meeting to explain what his department can do help - Trevor Wilson
In support of this he is submitting a motion to Mid Ulster council requesting to request a visit from Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry.
“We cannot continue to be a ‘human puppy farm’ exporting our intelligent young people to the rest of the world,” said Ulster Unionist Party group leader Trevor Wilson.
“We have all read the stories of a skills shortage in Northern Ireland and of employers forced to source workers from outside the Province.
“What is clear is that the answer to the skills shortage in Mid Ulster will not be found by whinging about inequities ‘West of The Bann.’
“The new Councils could be catalysts for change.
“Despite all the message of doom and gloom, I am very optimistic regarding the future economic outlook in Mid Ulster. That future should indeed be led by skills training.
“I am optimistic because the ball is at our own feet. There is a wonderful opportunity for the new Mid Ulster District council to become a catalyst for change.
“The council officers have the entrepreneurial ideas to tackle the skills problem, but they need direction from the elected Councillors.
“Sadly that direction has not been forthcoming to date.
“I believe our skills dearth can be addressed by majoring on engineering and new technology, concentrating on the twin linchpins of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“The Ulster Unionist Party will be putting forward a motion requesting the Minister for Employment and Learning Mr Stephen Farry comes to a future council meeting to explain what his department can do help.”