Brussels Visit For NI Junior MInisters On Key Youth Matters
Junior NI Assembly Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann are in Brussels for a series of meetings with a focus on internet safety and youth unemployment.
Junior Minister Jonathan Bell, a Strangford MLA, said: “Northern Ireland can learn a lot from other parts of Europe and I am confident there will be many opportunities for us to work in partnership with our European colleagues in the coming years.”
“It is important we give our children the digital skills and tools they need. We must explore every avenue to ensure children and young people from Northern Ireland are protected and able to use the fantastic resource of the internet in the safest possible way.”
The Junior Ministers met with representatives from the offices of the recently appointed UK and Irish Ambassadors to the EU. They also attended an awards ceremony focused on disability access in which Belfast City was recognised for recent achievements.
Speaking in Brussels Junior Minister McCann said: “The continuing economic conditions means people, particularly young people, across Europe are facing challenges related to employment, poverty and social exclusion.
“Reducing youth unemployment continues to be an Executive priority and we discussed policy options with the European Commission. Germany and Austria have the two lowest rates of youth unemployment in Europe and we had the opportunity to investigate the Baden Wüttemburg and Lower Austrian apprenticeship systems.”