§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement about Enterprise Ulster.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
Enterprise Ulster is a statutory corporation with responsibility for creating employment in Northern Ireland through direct labour activities. It was established in September 1973 following enactment of the Enterprise Ulster (NI) Order 1973. The legislation empowers Enterprise Ulster to create employment, directly or indirectly, through works or activities of environmental, amenity, cultural, community or social value, and to mount or assist research into unemployment in Northern Ireland.
Employment under the scheme built up to over 1,000 by the end of 1973. Current employment is 1,366 in 85 projects, mostly in areas of high unemployment. This is about the maximum number the corporation will be able to employ within its financal allocation. Enterprise Ulster's work force is drawn from the register of unemployed males and is equivalent to 6 per cent. of the current male unemployed category. Enterprise Ulster also sets out to train its work force and thereafter to place personnel in continuing employment of a conventional nature. There are encouraging signs of the success of this important aspect of the corporation's rô1e.