£26m jobs initiative for teachers and health staff


UP TO 230 newly qualified teachers and 50 health workers could be employed under a £26 million initiative in Northern Ireland, which was announced by Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister said yesterday that the funding would support six projects to improve numeracy and literacy, offer increased family support and help job creation within local communities while tackling dereliction and empty units.

A total of 150 recently graduated unemployed teachers will be recruited on a two-year contract to deliver one-to-one tuition in English and mathematics to pupils aged 14 to 16 who are not expected to get a “C” grade in one or both of these subjects. Eighty unemployed teachers will gain two-year contracts to offer similar tuition to children aged seven to 11.

New programmes are being created to support up to 1,200 parents living in areas of deprivation and “potentially” employing up to 50 additional health workers.

The project also involves other family support services and a £4 million initiative to encourage business start-ups in empty or derelict clusters of units and shops to reduce unemployment in hard-hit areas.

Mr Robinson said that without even the most basic educational qualifications, many young people found it a struggle to get a job and create a better life. “The additional support being provided for literacy and numeracy will tackle this problem head-on and help our young people obtain the qualifications to find work. It will also provide 230 young unemployed teachers with an opportunity to get teaching experience while contributing to raising educational achievement,” he said.

Mr McGuinness added, “The aim is to make a tangible difference, particularly for our children and young people, over the next two years.”