Open invitation to join ‘Work for Derry’ forum

Tommy Mullan.
Tommy Mullan.

People from across Derry have been invited to help establish a new jobs forum amid anger over the lack of employment opportunities in the city.

The public meeting will be held at the Galliagh Residents’ Association office on Moss Road at 11am on Wednesday, January 28th.

Tommy Mullan from the Galliagh Residents Association said the Work For Derry Forum would give ordinary people in the city the chance to unite and have their voice heard.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr. Mullan told the Journal: “This Forum is about getting jobs for Derry.

“There has been that many jobs that have disappeared out of Derry and major companies pulling out, and there has been virtually nothing coming into replace them.

“All Derry wants is a fair crack of the whip so our young people have a chance of having a job.

“We know here around Galliagh and around Derry in general there is a lot of young people who have no chance of getting a job at the minute.

“The politicians say we are in a recession, but in Derry we have been in a recession for this past 60 years, and Derry has been run down completely over these last few years.”

Mr. Mullan said he would like to see the city’s industrial sites such as those at Skeoge, Springtown and Pennyburn become a springboard for more activity which would in turn generate employment in the city.

He also said that the fact that several major supermarket applications have been rejected or delayed had added to the economic woes of the city, coupled with the demise of various industries and factories across the city.

Recently released figures revealed that in the new Derry City & Strabane District Council one in two people of working age is economically inactive, through unemployment, sickness or for other reasons.

In a report brought before a recent Derry-Strabane shadow council committee, it states: “The socio-economic need for strategic integrated economic intervention is clear.”

This is because out of 406 district authorities in the UK, Derry (8.2%) and Strabane (7.3%) have the highest proportion of those aged 16-64 on the claimant count across the north and Britain.

A total of 49% of the working age population in the new Council area are economically inactive.

The new Derry-Strabane super-council is also currently ranked the most deprived in terms of employment.

The Galliagh Residents’ Association Centre is located next to St Paul’s Primary School (Slievemore).