North Antrim MP Ian Paisley and The Department for Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey MLA this week co-hosted a Jobs Fair in the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney.
The event, held on Thursday, had over 35 businesses and other exhibitors in attendance, all of whom were either directly promoting employment opportunities within their organisation or promoting initiatives to assist young people in finding employment.
Mr Storey explained: “We are absolutely delighted at the response we received from local businesses when we approached them about the fair. No fewer than 24 of the participating businesses are actively recruiting for specific posts within their organisation here today.
Mr Paisley continued: “For the last three months unemployment in North Antrim has reached its lowest point (5%) since before the last General Election in 2010, well below the Northern Ireland average of 6.3%. The businesses and exhibitors at today’s fair have a combined total of over 800 potential job opportunities available to our young people.
“If those 800 positions were filled that would push this constituency’s unemployment levels below 4% and make it one of the lowest in the UK. The bus loads of school people that have been arriving all day highlights the important role that events like today’s provide and we are very eager to try and mirror this fair in our other towns such as Ballymena and Ballycastle.”
Welcoming employers and support organizations participating in the Fair Ballymoney Mayor Bill Kennedy added: “Under one roof, we had organizations, large and small, some 31 employers and 14 support organizations offering full-time and part-time employment, apprenticeships, training and education opportunities. There was not a better opportunity for people to meet large numbers of potential employers in person and have face-to-face interaction.
“Where else would you get the time and opportunity to visit 30 employers in one day? Employers, too, got the benefit of increasing their brand awareness, raising their company profile and got their name out there in a positive light to talented job seekers and to network with other companies. I hope everyone got a successful outcome from the day.”