- “For whose benefit these burdens must be taken”: Children, Employment, and Training in Northern Ireland, 1921–1939
- The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 2016
- pp. 277-293
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This essay explores how state and welfare authorities attempted to deal with the issue of juvenile unemployment in the new Northern Ireland state. It addresses measures introduced between 1921 and 1939 by the newly devolved government to deal with the growing problem. Industrial production in Belfast was severely hit in the postwar economic climate, resulting in an employment problem that plagued the government until the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. This created difficulties for welfare authorities and the cabinet because the emphasis by Northern Irish politicians rested on ensuring that welfare provision and standards of living would remain equal to those in the rest of the UK. This prompted authorities in Northern Ireland to look towards England for exemplary intervention in juvenile unemployment. This resulted in a solution that was not designed for local conditions, and its efficacy was questionable.