Foster praises ‘can do’ attitude in south west

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has praised the organisers of an initiative aimed at increasing employment opportunities in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Speaking at the launch of the ‘Let’s Work Together’ Jobs Fair, Arlene Foster said a ‘can do’ attitude was key to helping rebuild the economy.

The Minister said: “The name ‘Let’s Work Together’ is entirely apt, as the initiative depends on organisations and businesses working together to create employment opportunities for local people.

“Core to the success of this is the business community. The ‘Let’s Work Together’ approach recognises that every job, every apprenticeship and every temporary placement created by a business will make a positive impact on the economy and on people’s lives.

“They might not make the headlines in the way that big job announcements do, but they are equally important. If every business in Northern Ireland was to create just one job opportunity - even a temporary one - it would have an enormous impact, not just on our unemployment figures, but also on our skills base.

“To those in the business community that are in a position to create jobs – even one job – I would say be bold, look to the future of both your own business and the local economy, and take that step.

“The Jobs Fund offers an employment grant of between £3000 and £7000 per job created and it has already helped create over 2800 jobs. If businesses are already selling outside Northern Ireland, or have the potential to do so, I’d encourage them to apply to the Jobs Fund and get whatever support they can.”

Support is also available to help people who want to create their own job by starting their own business.

Arlene Foster said: “Young people aged 16-24 who are not in employment, education or training can get additional support to set up a business through a specific measure within Invest NI’s Jobs Fund. This offers them a business start grant of £1,500.

“Just a few days ago, during his visit to Northern Ireland, President Obama talked about the future of this country being to a large extent in the hands of our young people. That is true but we need to support them, by giving them chance to work and gain skills and by supporting their fledgling businesses.

“Rebuilding the economy will be a long journey, but every journey is made up of many individual steps. The ‘Let’s Work Together’ Jobs Fair is another step in that journey and one that I’m confident will produce positive results for this region.”