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Twin sisters with albinism call on employers to give disabled people chances

Twin sisters from Claudy in County Londonderry who are living with sight loss because of a rare form of albinism are calling on local employers to give disabled people a chance.

Judith and Chloe MacCombe, who are aged 21, believe that they've been unfairly overlooked when applying for jobs.

The girls say they never let their eyesight hold them back from doing things, but they have struggled to find work since graduating from university.

“We’ve been looking for jobs, but a lot of employers see that you have a disability,” Judith said.

“I’ve had a couple of employers come back and say that, because I have a visual impairment, they don’t want to continue my application.

“I would like to see that change so that employers see what you can do.

“We’ve proved through school and getting our degrees we’re more than capable of doing what normal-sighted people can do.”

Judith and Chloe have enlisted the help of Fixers, the group which aims to give young people a voice, in order to get their message across.


NI unemployment numbers continue to fall

November's jobs figures show 500 fewer people claiming unemployment benefits than the previous month.

The total now stands at 33,600.

While the Northern Ireland rate of 5.7% is above the UK average, the past year has seen a 5,600 reduction in the claimant count here

The NISRA (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) figures showed the output of both the services and production sectors declined, 0.5% and 1.8% respectively.


Bombardier employees face further uncertainty

Employees at Bombardier in Belfast face further uncertainty after it was reported the company would cut a further 7,500 jobs, or 10% of their global workforce.

Business publication Bloomberg reported that the Canadian aerospace firm were "accelerating a restructuring plan" after taking on billions of dollars of business debt as they developed their new C-Series jetliner.

The company released a statement saying it would be "evaluating the impact" of the news and would "communicate with our employees when that is completed".

In February, the company announced it would be shedding over 1,000 jobs in a two-year period.

They later brought forward 95 redundancies at its Belfast site, which had been planned for 2017.

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Davy Thompson from the union Unite said: "We are deeply concerned that these job losses could affect the Belfast workforce as it is involved in every Bombardier line of production.

"The job losses amount to one-in-ten of their global workforce, but there is no further information about what this will mean for Belfast."

He added: “Our members can be assured that Unite will work over the coming period to minimise any potential job-losses here and, if necessary, we will strive to deliver the best possible outcome for those affected.

"We can only hope that today’s announcement will mean the company is better positioned to achieve long-term growth and safeguard future employment."

Financial services firm to create 300 new jobs in Belfast

Financial services firm Tullett Prebon is to create 300 new jobs in Belfast, it has been announced.

The organisation - one of the world's leading interdealer brokers - plans to establish a major technology centre in Northern Ireland, to support its international growth strategy.

The new roles will be created over the next three years and will contribute over £9.9m in additional salaries into the Northern Ireland economy each year.

The First and deputy First Ministers as well as Economy Mister Simon Hamilton made the announcement on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland has an enviable reputation for hardworking, innovative, committed employees and I can assure you that we will prove, once again, we are good for business.

– First Minister Arlene Foster

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “The new jobs will offer an average salary of £33,000, providing excellent opportunities for graduate and experienced IT professionals as well as school leavers.

“The Executive for its part will continue to make every effort to ensure our people have the right skills and qualifications which combined with our low cost base makes us a compelling location for international companies to locate.”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered Tullett Prebon over £2m towards the creation of the new jobs with the Department for the Economy Assured Skills programme providing £400k for associated training.

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