Farry Urges Young People To Explore Benefits Of Youth Employment Scheme
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today (20 March) urged unemployed young people to join the over 3,200 18 to 24 year olds who have benefited from participating in the Youth Employment Scheme (YES).
Speaking as the latest labour market figures were released, the Minister said: “I would encourage young people to explore the opportunities associated with YES. Since the launch over 3,200 young people have participated with over 2,000 currently on the programme. Almost 40% of all participants have moved into employment.
“While there are positive indicators of growth in the local economy, the challenging economic conditions have hit young people particularly hard. Without relevant recent work experience many of our young people are finding it difficult to compete for the jobs that are available. The Youth Employment Scheme is a £31million package which provides employment and skills incentives to address the issue.
“The focus of the initiative is to ensure that young people who are currently unemployed are provided, at the earliest possible stage, with the skills to gain jobs, compete for jobs created in the future and retain and progress in those jobs. The measures will seek to ensure that no young person is left behind. We must build opportunity for all our young people regardless of their abilities and circumstances.”
The Minister added: “I am encouraging employers to sign up to YES and help to facilitate and enable the skills development of our next generation. Employers can support this initiative by providing short and long term work experience placements. This is much more than employers meeting their corporate social responsibility commitments – this is about investing in the development of their workforce, with government support, to improve their business performance and grow our local economy. My own Department has itself stepped up to the plate and offered almost 120 YES opportunities.”
The Minister advised that other NICS departments have also demonstrated their commitment to the Scheme by offering work experience placements.