Cookstown event planned to tackle youth unemployment

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AN event aimed at tackling youth unemployment in Mid-Ulster is being organised by Ulster Unionist MLA Sandra Overend.

It will be held in South West Regional College in Cookstown, on Wednesday November 20 at 8pm and will feature presentations from various organisations, including the South West College, Northern Regional College, Rural Youth Enterprise, The Prince’s Trust, and Jobs and Benefits Office.

“Youth Unemployment is a problem which is damaging the futures of young people across Europe and the world, and it is felt right here in Northern Ireland and Mid-Ulster just as acutely,” she said.

“The Youth Unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is 22.5%; higher than the UK average of 20.5%. Furthermore, the rate of young people joining the claimant count in Northern Ireland is much higher than any other group of people.

“These statistics make for worrying reading, but it is easy to lose sight of the human aspect of these problems and focus on the wider problem in the abstract. That is why I am delighted to announce that I am organising an event locally in my own constituency of Mid-Ulster to give young people the practical help and support they very much need to move from unemployed to employed, into training or even to set up their own business.

“My Youth focused event is geared towards equipping young people in the area with the knowledge and the information they need to find and secure employment or further training. It will feature presentations from a number of relevant organisations, including two of our local Further Education Colleges, the Jobs and Benefits Office, the Prince’s Trust and Rural Youth Entrepreneurship.

“These various organisations can provide help in different ways and I am particularly pleased that they have all agreed to come together to give this support to the people of Mid-Ulster in one place, on one evening, presenting the options that are available in employment, apprenticeships, work placements, creating your own business, and will be able to answer any questions raised by those in attendance.

“Often, young people can find themselves becoming stuck in a cycle of joblessness and benefits claims. The current economic climate, although improving, is still very difficult in terms of securing work, especially for a young person with few qualifications or practical experience.”

Young people from right across Mid-Ulster will be very welcome to attend. For more information about the event, please contact my office on 028 867 48090, or email me on”