Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Educational assistance for young people cont'd

The employment minister said the request for the creation of a working group to identify how access to further education for young people could be improved, was "maybe too specific", on 6 March 2012.

A DUP motion proposed that the group would comprise officials from the Department for Social Development, the Department of Health, South Eastern Regional College and the PSNI.

Party member Jonathan Craig said: "There are many consequences of not being in employment, education or training, and this assembly should want to eradicate the notion that these individuals in society will be disengaged and uninterested," he said

"A joined-up approach in the form of a working group would further expand the expertise and tackle the problem directly."

Employment Minister Stephen Farry said it was a "specific request and I think maybe too specific".

He said he had sent a paper to the executive on youth unemployment which he said remained under consideration.

The minister added that this would give "ministerial leadership to this most important of issues".

Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff said he felt the motion, which sought to improve access for young people experiencing health, social and housing problems, was "well-meaning in intent" but he could not understand why only one further education college had been mentioned.

However, he said an Alliance amendment tried to "tidy-up" this by its inclusion of "all further educational colleges".

The amended motion was passed on an oral vote.

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