18th Dec 2012
£9m scheme to help young unemployed
A MULTI million pound support package for a range of employment schemes has been announced.
The £9million support package will help young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).
It aims to equip the most disadvantaged young people with the necessary job skills to move into the labour market and onto the careers ladder. The support package will provide a focus, improve life chances and ensure those who are most vulnerable have the opportunity to lead productive lives with the capability of reaching their full potential.
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, announced the news.
The Minister said: "The £9million package will fund 18 projects across Northern Ireland which will immediately deliver support to help up to 5,000 disadvantaged young people. The projects, delivered through a variety of bodies including community organisations and further education colleges, will ensure we reach our most vulnerable young people on the ground with education, training or employment initiatives.
"These projects will open doors for our young people to move into college, apprenticeships or jobs and represent the key quality interventions necessary to combat the untapped potential of these young people. Most importantly, the projects will improve their employability by equipping them with the necessary skills for employment."
The Department for Employment and Learning will fund the 18 projects submitted under the Collaboration and Innovation Fund. This fund is part of a range of initiatives under the Executive's NEET Strategy entitled Pathways to Success.
The funding will support a wide range of collaborative projects which will provide mentoring, work placements, training in literacy, numeracy and ICT skills coupled with personal development training through a life skills and motivational programme for young people. Initiatives will also include innovative schemes including utilising IT platforms including iPads and Digi-hubs to provide an informal learning package for participants.
This funding covers the remainder of this current financial year, and the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 financial years.
The Minister concluded: "I want to ensure that young people who are currently disengaged are provided at the earliest possible stage with the skills to gain jobs. These projects are designed to ensure that no-one is left behind and that we build opportunities for all our young people, particularly those in areas of deprivation right across our community."