Following the delegation in January 2012 to Minister Farry, lead by Margaret Ritchie MP MLA, and Kilkeel Development Association, to discuss the job opportunities for local people in the Off-Shore Industry, the MP has received confirmation from the Minster that he has instructed officials to run a pilot “Bridge to Employment” exercise to assist in recruiting individuals with the necessary skills for off shore work. Speaking after receiving this confirmation the MP said;
“I welcome very much Ministers Farry’s positive and practical response to our calls to assist with training for the off shore industry, I look forward to the establishment of this pilot and I welcome the assurance from the Minister that he sees this as a very important issue and has instructed his officials to make sure it is given the priority it deserves.
Job opportunities currently exist in the off-shore industry and with a minimal amount of training local people could avail of these job opportunities, particularly those previously employed at sea.
One interested employer is Atlantic Marine Services from the Netherlands. Companies like AMS see the potential in employees from fishing communities and are interested in the skills and background already acquired in the industry from working at sea or on shore in the Marine industry. However, in order to meet standards required training is required and this can be costly.
We must continue to find new and innovative ways to create employment for our community and I will continue to pursue this training project to completion.”