Youth campaign for jobs slams Minster for Employment’s “vampire” comments

A campaign group to tackle youth unemployment has demanded an apology from Reg Empey, the Minster for Employment & Learning, after comments he made to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday that young people who are unemployed are like vampires. Press Release:Youth unemployment hits 20%

Youth Fight for Jobs picket Dept. of Employment against rising youth unemployment Young people picketed the Department for Employment and Learning in Belfast on Wednesday 11th November at 4.30pm to protest against youth unemployment in Northern Ireland officially reaching 20%.

Youth Fight for Jobs, who organised a picket of the Department of Employment and Learning this week, has delivered a letter demanding the Minister take action to create jobs on the day when it was officially announced that over 1 in 5 young people are unemployed.

Spokesperson from Youth Fight for Jobs, Daniel Waldron stated he was disgusted about the Minister’s comments, “Reg Empey is blaming young people for the fact that there are next to no jobs out there. He should be blaming the real vampires such as the banks and big business who are sucking the public dry through huge bail outs and subsidies.

“His comments just like his policies have done nothing to create decent jobs in Northern Ireland. The Assembly Executive pledged to create 6,500 jobs but nearly 30,000 jobs have been lost in the past year alone. It is the Minister and the Executive who have failed to create jobs not young people.

“What is also worrying is the Belfast Telegraph’s editorial comment ‘that these are young people who are sucking the lifeblood out of the benefits system (and) that there is some validity in that point of view.’ Politicians and the media are trying to shift the blame for high unemployment onto young people and this must be stopped.

“Young people didn’t accumulate huge profits during the boom and demand they be bailed out when their gambling schemes collapsed. Young people aren’t the people double-jobbing, claiming outrageous expenses and doing nothing while unemployment soars.

“Youth Fight for Jobs has started a campaign of protest to demand that the Assembly Executive takes immediate action to create jobs. It is clear by the comments made by the Minster for Employment that young people need to get organised to fight for the right to a decent job, which is exactly what Youth Fight for Jobs intends to do.”

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