Good news on the local economic front, as the numbers of people signing-on for unemployment benefit in Letterkenny continue to fall. As this Highland Radio news article shows, the number of people unemployed in Letterkenny in April of this year has fallen by 349, compared to this time last year.
Much has been made of the job losses in the last few years in the Textile industry. While we must not forget those who have lost their jobs, we also cannot forget the great economic growth in other sectors. Multinational companies, such as Sita, Pacificare and Pramerica continue to increase the numbers they employ in Letterkenny. This is a great reflection of many things, but in particular it shows the importance of a supply of skilled workers.
Letterkenny has benefitted hugely by having Letterkenny IT producing high-quality graduates in a number of sectors. But this shows that the most important thing needed to help those who have lost their jobs recently is an emphasis on re-training and re-skilling. We can compete on the world stage, but only when we have the right skills.
Another important thing to remember is that many of those who have lost their jobs are already very highly-skilled. This is where organisations such as the Donegal County Enterprise Board come in. The Enterprise Board runs a number of programmes which assist people in starting and running their own business. We need to examine this model, and see how we can add to it in and around Letterkenny.