Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has to address inequalities in job creation"

Published: 8 January, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed the reappointment of Mark Ennis as Chairperson of Invest NI.

Mr Flanagan, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Assembly's Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said,

"I welcome the reappointment of Mark Ennis as Chairperson of Invest NI given the increased performance of the organisation under his leadership.

"Mark Ennis has led Invest NI through a period of record job announcements and a significant shift towards supporting locally owned businesses so it is fitting that he has been reappointed.

"However, Sinn Féin representatives will continue to challenge Invest NI to do much more to address the historical economic neglect of some areas and the need to tackle regional disparities as was agreed within the Programme for Government. These needs to be done by ensuring jobs are being created in areas of deprivation and west of the Bann.

"Recent figures for job creation that I have obtained show that Invest NI helped created over 2,000 jobs in Belfast but only small numbers in areas west of the Bann during 2013/14.

"These inequalities in job creation need to be addressed by the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster who has remained silent on this issue despite the fact she is elected within a constituency which would have much to gain from greater job creation. Growing a sustainable and balanced regional economy must be a political and social priority.

"It is also important that Invest NI put in place a stipulation that all jobs created with Invest NI support should be paid at or above the living wage."