Ramsey welcomes back to work scheme

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey. (2307C39a)
Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey. (2307C39a)

The Northern Ireland Assembly have released details of a new back to work scheme for three marginalised groups who often find accessing employment difficult.

The ‘Enabling Success’ scheme was announced by Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Farry on Monday.

The voluntary participation scheme will target a return to work for the sick, carers and lone parents.

Pat Ramsey MLA has warmly welcomed the announcement and in particular that the Northwest region is set to benefit from a pilot economic inactivity project.

The Enabling Success project is a person centred, voluntary participation scheme, devised to assist those who are long term sick, lone parents or carers to return to the work force. The project is the culmination of a partnership approach from Derry City Council, Invest NI, DHSSPS, and the Departments of Employment and Learning, Social Development and Enterprise Trade and Investment into addressing the needs of those who have been long term absent from the labour market.

Mr. Ramsey MLA met with the Ministers of Employment and Learning, Dr. Steven Farry and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster in order to press on them the need for immediate and decisive action in Derry and the Northwest. This was confirmed on Monday.

SDLP party spokesperson on employment and learning, Mr. Ramsey, stated: “While I obviously welcome the announcement I pressed on the Ministers, both today in the Assembly Chamber and previously, the need for urgent action to tackle the levels of economic inactivity in our local work force. I have also outlined to them the level of apathy and low morale which exists among those out of work. I often hear nothing is being done at Assembly level to address their needs. This is a step toward addressing that vast need.

“It is indeed a welcome move. I especially welcome the Ministers commitment to run the initial pilot project in the Northwest. The level of detachment from the labour force is, as the Minister stated, ‘a long term structural problem within our economy.’

“I will continue to push the Minister to commence recruitment to the Enabling Success project in Derry as soon as possible. The project will present challenges to us as legislators also, especially in terms of securing finance to ensure the continued implementation of the project. Obviously as MLA for the region this is something I have dedicated myself to.”