McGuinness ‘increasingly concerned’ at Derry unemployment rate

Martin McGuinness.
Martin McGuinness.

Martin McGuinness says he’s “increasingly concerned” at the high levels of unemployment in the Derry area.

The Deputy First Minister says the Stormont Executive must take a united approach to tackle joblessness across the North West.

Speaking after today’s meeting of the Executive, Mr McGuinness said: “As well as the economic crisis, there are historic reasons why that is the case. However, I firmly believe there is a responsibility on the entire Executive to tackle this issue, not least because the Executive is already committed to redressing the regional disparities which exist in the North.

“There is also a specific focus required from individual ministers, particularly in terms of issues such as the promotion of Derry to investors and the wider North West, the expansion of Magee University and the provision of the required infrastructure and office space.

“I have raised this matter with Executive colleagues and there will be further discussions in the time ahead regarding the practicalities of what the Executive can do to assist the north west.”

Mr. McGuinness says he believes all Ministers are “open” to providing whatever assistance they can from their respective departments.

He added: “I will continue to work with all stakeholders, including the local Council and Ilex [Derry’s urban regeneration company] to build on the good work that has already been done to ensure the high levels of unemployment and disparity which exist in the north west are successfully tackled.”