Travellers groups call for strategy to deal with unemployment

There is currently an 84% unemployment rate in the Traveller community...

Travellers groups have appealed to the Government to create a new national enterprise and jobs strategy to kindle employment within the communities.

The National Traveller Women's Forum and the Irish Traveller Movement made the call to cut the 84% unemployment rate at a national seminar yesterday.

According to the Irish Independent, Maria Joyce of the National Traveller Women's Forum said:

"During the years of the recession, unemployment rates of around 13% and 14% were called a crisis.

"What do we call the figures for Travellers? Out of a total labour force of almost 10,000, 87% of men are unemployed. That number is 81% for women.

"There are lots of very interested people both Travellers and others who want to develop enterprise ideas but what we are missing is an overall Traveller enterprise and employment strategy."

It follows calls late last month for greater mental health services for Travellers amid reports of higher suicide rates in the community.

Studies have show that Travellers are six time more likely to die by suicide than members of the general public.