Steven Parkhill, UKIP’s Assembly Candidate for East Londonderry has described the comments by the Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University about the effects of cuts to funding to higher education as “very worrying”
Mr Parkhill said:
“It is very worrying to hear comments on Monday, from Professor Patrick Johnston, Vice-Chancellor of Queens University, claiming our society is “in trouble” due to cuts in higher education funding, and that NI won’t have enough skilled workers to fill supposedly incoming jobs linked with the imminent corporation tax cut.
“Growth in the economy continues to be hampered due to a relatively small private sector. However this constraint can be negated by attracting more Foreign Direct Investment into the private sector, but what sort of a signal does it sends to potential investors when we won’t have enough skilled people to fill potential jobs?
“If we want to attract and ramp up inward investment, develop a strong private sector and grow the economy, it’s time the Executive began to act, and give our Universities and Colleges some much needed financial backing. Funding further and higher education and building a skilled workforce is absolutely essential to future economic growth.”
Continuing, Mr. Parkhill added:
“UKIP Leader in NI, David McNarry MLA, recently highlighted the inability of the current assembly to address and deal with pressing economic issues which confront Northern Ireland – of the 149 Private Members’ Motions debated in the Assembly between 2013 and 2015 only 19% deal with economic issues.
“It’s clear that the Assembly have minimal interest in solving economic issues, and is failing when it comes to job creation, growing the economy and providing a brighter future for Northern Ireland. The same old names and the same old parties are continuing to let all of us down. UKIP are a true alternative to the insular, inward-looking parties of old.”