School leavers have ‘little confidence’ in getting jobs

Alliance Foyle candidate for the Westminster election John Doherty pictured at Magee.
Alliance Foyle candidate for the Westminster election John Doherty pictured at Magee.

Derry’s Alliance Westminster candidate has warned that ordinary school leavers in the city have “little confidence” in securing employment almost 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement.

John Doherty warned that too many of Derry’s talented young people are having to leave the city to access further education and employment.

Mr Doherty said that Brexit will bring further challenges for local businesses and workers, particularly if a hard border is imposed.

He said: “Nineteen years on from the Good Friday Agreement, “the ordinary school-leaver in Derry has little confidence in getting a job. The North West Regional College and UU Magee do good work. But far too many students have to go away to find the course they want.

“And far too many adults have to leave Derry to find the employment they want.

“Derry people certainly want to work. When Debenhams opened here in 2003, they advertised 250 jobs and got 10,000 requests for application forms.”

He added that the new Medical School proposed for Magee is a “brilliant step in the direction of raising the education offered in the North West”, but warned: “Brexit is crucial for the future of not only the North West, but the whole Island of Ireland. As an employee of a cross-border business, I know full well, the volume of people and goods crossing the border every day. There is no doubt that to have a hard border will cost time and money for businesses and for travellers - as well as the psychological cost of re-erecting old barriers between Derry and our friends and relations in County Donegal.”