Education and Skills

  • Lack of high level skills in the local population –  24% have achieved a Higher Education qualification compared to 28% in NI overall;
  • An over reliance on the public sector – 35% of people in the Council area are employed in the public sector compared the 4th highest among District Councils;
  • Poor history of job creation, even when the economy is doing well – From 2001 to 2007, a period of comparative growth across Northern Ireland, Strabane (and its rural areas) had negative job growth of -2.5%, the only District in NI not to see an increase in jobs in that period;
  • Low weekly earnings among the workforce – The average weekly earnings in the Council area are £373.10 compared to the NI average of £429.10.  There are not enough skilled, highly paid jobs either for local people or to attract others to the District.  Average weekly earnings in Strabane are the lowest of all Districts in NI.

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