Belfast YFfJ tells Minister, “We demand jobs not excuses!”

Minister for UNemployment - Reg Empey

Minister for UNemployment - Reg Empey

Representatives from the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign met Minister for Employment & Learning, Reg Empey, on 18 February to challenge him on the Executive’s failure to create jobs. Youth Fight for Jobs put to the Minister, concrete initiatives which could immediately be implemented to create jobs. We showed how a programme for building social housing, a publicly owned IT sector and how an expansion of the NHS could immediately create thousands of jobs, while at the same time provide much needed services.

By Paddy Meehan

Instead, all we got from the Minister were meaningless excuses. He would “like” to do something but it was the responsibility of other departments; the money wasn’t there; and incredibly creating jobs for young people would annoy big business because “they would have more competition”.

The only co-operation between departments has been on how to cut public sector jobs. Plenty of money has been found to bail out rich bankers and line the pockets of politicians.

It was obvious by the end of our meeting that our ideas fell on deaf ears. This is why Youth Fight for Jobs will take our message to the thousands of young people on the dole and stuck in low paid jobs as well as those in schools, techs and universities who will bear the brunt of the failure of the politicians, to organise and fight for the right to a decent job.


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