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

Demand for Forest Service Jobs Demonstrates Need for Further Decentralisation - Flanagan

Published: 19 May, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that confirmation from the Agriculture & Rural Development Minister that 435 civil servants have expressed an interest in the 20 positions to be made available in Fermanagh as a result of the forthcoming relocation of Forest Service headquarters demonstrates the need for the decentralisation of more public sector posts to the county.

Mr Flanagan said:

"It is welcome news that Forest Service headquarters is to relocate to Fermanagh, with the preferred location being identified as Killyhevlin Industrial Estate.

"I have been approached by a number of people who are very keen to transfer to Forest Service from within the civil service as a result of the opportunity to progress up the pay grade without having to travel to Belfast every day.

"I also know very many people who already travel to Belfast and other areas to work within the civil service and would prefer to work locally.

"I therefore asked the Agriculture Minister to outline the level of interest among civil servants in taking up one of the positions in Forest Service when it relocates to Enniskillen.

"I was amazed to learn that 435 civil servant have expressed an interest in these roles; this equates to more than 20 people for every position available. And this was only an internal exercise and does not include people who are not currently employed within the civil service.

"For me, this demand demonstrates the need for further decentralisation of public sector jobs to Fermanagh, not only for those already working within the civil service, but for the hundreds of people in the county struggling to find employment.

"I will continue to explore opportunities with Executive departments to relocate posts to Fermanagh as there is both a demand and a positive benefit for our society and our economy as a result of decentralisation."