MANY young people across the district face have faced an uncertain future in looking for a job. Now a new government scheme may offer some hope in the face of this crisis as a generation of our young people struggle to get to grips with finding that important first job or filling a permanent post.
Down District SDLP Councillor Dermot Curran has spoken out in support of the most recent scheme to be launched by the Department of Employment and Learning to assist with youth unemployment across the District and beyond.
Councillor Curran said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the Department of Learning’s recent scheme which is designed to reduce the level of unemployment in those aged between 18 and 24. These young members of our community are now in the rut where securing employment without ‘on the job experience’ is virtually impossible in this current economic climate.
“These young people must be brought into the working world as a matter of urgency in order that they can contribute and be an active part of the economy. Day and daily I am speaking to individuals in this age bracket who simply havent had a chance to prove their worth – a chance to prove their honesty, reliability and dependability. Some businesses worry about employing school leavers or those who have been out of work for a period of time however I am now calling on those businesses to give these individuals a chance and this is what this scheme is all about… providing financial incentives to businesses to do just that.”
There are a variety of schemes on offer ranging from work experience lasting between 4 and 8 weeks to a skills development programme or an enhanced employer subsidy . The latter involves a young person securing a permanent position in one of the specific fields and as a result the employer receives an incentive of up to £5,750. Councillor Curran added: “This is a huge investment on behalf of the Government and an extremely worthwhile one, as it is investing in our youth and their future.
“The ‘YES’ scheme is a WIN-WIN situation for both the individual and the business. Along with the direct provision of employment, it gives these individuals the opportunity to gain some experience on the job whilst allowing the employer to monitor their performance and commitment with a view to then being considered for future vacancies should they arise.
“Your local Jobs and Benefits Office is on hand to offer businesses and individuals advice and information about the scheme and its associated benefits.”