I recently received Unemployment Statistics from Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane which detail a 3.7% unemployment rate in North Down.
Whilst the current economic downturn is a cause for concern amongst most people, unemployment levels are of particular concern especially those who are long term unemployed.
Recent statistics from the Finance Minister helps to highlight hot spots within North Down which I know local bodies such as South Eastern Regional College (SERC) have been targeting.
I was extremely impressed at the range of courses and commitment shown by SERC staff during my recent visit to their Bangor Campus along with Cllr Michael Bower. I would encourage anyone out of work and interested in improving their skills levels to contact SERC to see if any appropriate opportunities exist.
In the meantime I will continue working with my Alliance colleagues and others to re-build our economy, helping make Northern Ireland an attractive and harmonious place to invest.
Alliance Finance and Personnel Spokesperson Judith Cochrane MLA stated "In order to tackle unemployment we must make ensure that everybody has to access to training and higher/further education. If those that are unemployed do not have the right skills set then they will find it harder to get back into employment.
"I am glad that the Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry has made improving skills a priority of his Department and he is looking to tackle the so called NEETs group (Not in Employment, Education or Training). By improving people's employability we can not only get them back into the workforce but also attract more jobs as we would have the people with the training and the skills to work for companies that would wish to set up here."
Assembly Question Ref AQW 10551/11-15