More jobs needed in Derry

The scene outside the Millennium Forum recently as hundreds of people queued for a jobs fair.
The scene outside the Millennium Forum recently as hundreds of people queued for a jobs fair.

Derry business chiefs are urging politicians to make faster progress in putting in place an effective strategy to create more jobs in the city.

Derry’s Chamber of Commerce spoke out in response to the release of unemployment figures which show that the Foyle constituency has the worst rate in the UK.

Chamber President Gerry Kindlon said: “Whilst the One Plan was, and is, a good document, delivery has been disappointing.

“Part of that is political commitment and part of it is that the delivery mechanisms have been slow and ineffective - with 37 people on the Strategy Board that oversees the One Plan.

“We can use the One Plan as a guiding document but we need to make sure that this work focuses on the ‘how’ as much as the ‘what’. We need to refine and develop the One Plan.”

Mr. Kindlon added: “The One Plan did not contain a strategy for implementation. And we need a really strong digital strategy and a really strong tourism strategy.

“We have learned that we need to be more focused. For example, within the digital economy, we should focus on creative technologies and, maybe, one or two other key areas.

“I think the focus in the One Plan has been on how wealth should be shared equally rather than how it could be generated in the first place. Both are valid but better balance is required.”

The jobless rate in Foyle is 13.2%, according to the Commons Library research paper.