New scheme to benefit over 1,000 young people at risk of unemployment

The initiative targets those not in education, employment or training

Youth, Employability, Initiative, scheme, at risk, unemployment, skills, Katherine Zappone

Children's Minister Dr Katherine Zappone talking to the media in Tallaght | Image:

A new €600,000 initiative is to target disadvantaged young people to improve their employability.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has announced details of 28 community-based youth services.

They will be funded under the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Youth Employability Initiative targets young people who are most at risk of unemployment - and who are not in education, employment or training.

It provides programmes for them to enhance their skills.

More than 1,000 young people, aged 15-24, from across the country will participate in the projects.

While each project is different, they can be broadly grouped into four categories:

  • Social enterprise: These are projects which focus on developing enterprise skills and competencies in young people
  • Pre-training: These projects aim to provide tailored programmes to young people in need of additional support including young offenders, young people with addiction issues, young Travellers and young people with disabilities
  • Career guidance projects: These are projects which provide 'wrap around' tailored career guidance support including programmes that help young people to identify and address barriers to their progression
  • Helping young people to get qualifications: These are projects which aim to support young people to gain accreditation including sports-related accreditation

Announcing the funding, Minister Zappone said: "I am very pleased to announce this initiative today which is a key commitment for my department in the Programme for Government and also makes a contribution towards the Government Action Plan on Jobs."

The minister also said that while all 28 youth services have experience in working with difficult to engage young people, this is a new type of work for both the youth projects and her department.

The department will also set up a forum with the successful projects, to share experiences and knowledge.

Over 380,000 young people participate in youth services, programmes and clubs throughout the country.