Roads Minister 'Failing' Unemployed

A Stormont Executive Minister has been accused of failing to deliver jobs for the long-term unemployed.

SDLP Regional Development Spokesperson Conall McDevitt has said that Roads Minister Conor Murphy's policies resulted in a mere eight jobs being created in the past year - despite his commitment to include social clauses in all major road contracts.

Mr McDevitt revealed this information after obtaining statistic from a response to a written Assembly Question to the NI Regional Development Minister.

The South Belfast MLA said: "While the Minister made a commitment to ensuring that all major contracts awarded to roads projects would generate jobs for the long term unemployed, the fact that only eight jobs have materialised since his announcement in April 2009 flies in the face of his pledge.

"This is despite the fact that 16 major contracts with provision for social inclusion have been awarded since this time, each with a value of at least £5m.

"If the Minister is really committed to social provision, it is time that he started seriously engaging with his departmental agencies to ensure that the long-term unemployed are being offered the opportunities which the Minister alleges to champion."

He continued: "The provision of social clauses offers a real opportunity for the Minister to affect job creation in the industries which have been worst hit by the recession in terms of employment loss.

"I am calling on him to make a real commitment to ensuring that all future qualifying contracts make maximum use of the social clause provision to ensure that those out of work are given the opportunity to get back into employment."


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