Derry tops young unemployed table

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More than 2000 young people are claiming the dole in Derry - higher than any of the north’s other Westminster constituency areas.

New figures released in the Assembly, show that in Foyle a total of 2,145 people aged 16-25 claimed unemployment related benefits in the city in August - that’s around 10% of the entire number of claimants within that age category in the north.

The Derry rate is also close to three times greater than the youth unemployment rate in North Down, South Antrim and East Belfast,.

Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry last week told the Assembly tackling youth unemployment remains an “Executive priority.”

He says around £40million has been allocated to improve the work situation for the north’s young unemployed.

“In March we agreed a package of new measures to help young people gain experience, acquire new skills and find employment.

“Opportunities include short two to eight week work experience placements, six to nine month training opportunities, and subsidised job opportunities as well as training in sector specific skills.

“My Department is actively working with employers to secure as many opportunities as possible as quickly as possible. .”

Dr Farry also highlighted the Training for Success and “programme-led apprenticeships.”

The latest figures, released in response to a question by North Down MLA Peter Weir, show that the number of young people out of work in Derry dwarves that of East Belfast (875), Lagan Valley (975) and Strangford (965).

Foyle tops the list. West Belfast (1810) and Upper Bann (1495) have the second and third highest numbers of young unemployed.

A total of 21,430 people aged 16-25 are claiming unemployment related benefits in the north.