Nando’s applications spark investment call

MAYOR of Derry Martin Reilly has called for an urgent investment to create new jobs for the city.

The Mayor made his comments after we revealed today that over 1,000 people in the city had applied for the 30 jobs going at the new Nando’s store, which opens in the city tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for Nando’s made the startling revelation to the Journal ahead of the opening tomorrow.

She said: “There was over 1,000 applicants for 30 jobs in Nando’s Derry which have all been filled.”

Mayor Reilly said many local people were crying out for work.

The SDLP Councillor said: “News that over 1,000 people in the city applied for 30 jobs at a newly opened restaurant in the city is evidence of the city’s urgent need for investment and jobs to the local economy.

“There is a huge interest and commitment from the public in sourcing work and no shortage of a work ethic and more needs to be done to create employment opportunities across the city and region.”

The latest job application follows a pattern of massive responses.

In 2011 it emerged that 2,000 people applying for just 35 jobs at the then new cinema at the Bowling Alley.

“This is not the first time that our city has seen a story of a deluge of applications for vacancies here and shows the need for our partners in regional government to focus on removing the barriers to growing our economy,” Mr Reilly said.

“Those with the responsibility for job creation should see this further demonstration of the work ethic in Derry as a ‘wake-up call’ and take the necessary steps to support our private sector growth.

“We need investment in our road and rail infrastructure and need more opportunities for young people to study here by expanding the University of Ulster at Magee,” he warned.

The Mayor’s comments came after Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Bridget Meehan challenged Invest NI when they visited Council’s Regional Services Committee.

While the local office has recently provided funding for local economic development initiatives. Ms Meehan warned that much more investment was needed in the Northwest.

Cllr Meehan told the committee that across the 18 constituencies in the North, 56% of the £784m investment by Invest NI from 2011/12 – 2012/13 went to eight constituencies in and around Belfast.

Foyle received only 6% of the investment.

Out of the 5,060 jobs promoted from 2011/12 – 2012/13, she said, 48% went to these eight constituencies, while Foyle received 7%.

With regard to the 2,699 jobs created 2011/12 – 2012/13, 46% went to the same wider Belfast region, while 11% went to Foyle.

“Undoubtedly, there’s a trend,” Ms Meehan said.

“There are clear regional disparities, especially when it’s accepted that Derry is the second city in the North and the fourth largest city across Ireland.”

Cllr Meehan has asked Invest NI for a commitment to support the creation of an Economic Zone for Derry.