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Job Creation

Volume 35: debated on Wednesday 19 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to reduce unemployment in the Province.

Economic recovery in Northern Ireland depends for the most part on developments at national and international level. Government policy is designed to rejuvenate the United Kingdom economy as a whole and to provide for the Northern Ireland economy to benefit to the fullest extent from that rejuvenation. The Government are determined to arrest the decline in employment opportunities in Northern Ireland through the creation of viable, long term and real private sector jobs. To this end some £190 million has been allocated for industrial support and development spending in 1983–84.The Government have also taken a number of steps to alleviate unemployment in the short term and at present the Department of Economic Development operates a number of schemes with the direct aim of having as a consequence a reduction in the level of unemployment. At 26 November 1982, the latest date for which figures are available, 23,900 adults and young persons were engaged in employment and training measures for which the Department of Economic Development is responsible or which it co-ordinates. Recent steps include the introduction of the job splitting scheme, which will increase the availability of part time employment, and the continuing expansion of the action for community employment scheme, which will create both full and part time job opportunities for the long term unemployed, and these are further significant evidence of the Government's concerned response to the Province's serious unemployment problems.