'Error' causes jobs funding for 20 posts to be lost

Tue, 22/11/2011 - 11:06 -- Editor

Community groups in Derry have missed out on funding to employ more than 20 long-term unemployed due to an 'administrative error' by the North West Regional College.

The NWRC told the BBC that nine vacancies in the Step Ahead programme were overlooked due to an administrative error and that a further 16 vacancies were unable to be processed as a result of an electronic server issue.

The college runs the Step Ahead programme in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning.

The Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry, said applications for vacancies closed on 21 October, and "due to a combination of an administrative error and IT problems, the vacancies were not registered by the North West Regional College before the closing date.

Sinn Fein's Raymond McCartney called on Mr Farry to step in. He has written to the minister requesting a meeting with representatives of community groups in Derry affected.

Raymond McCartney said: “I met with the groups affected by this decision on Friday and they are very worried about the impact this will have on them being able to provide vital services. The groups concerned did everything right, they had their application forms in on the deadline but due to an administration error not all the applications were processed which has resulted in the  loss of a number of places on the scheme.

"I have written to the Minster and  requested a meeting with representatives of the community groups affected .

"It’s been well documented the  work that this scheme provides to local communities. I believe with a common sense approach this can be resolved ,so there is a heavy onus on the Minister to move on this issue now."