25/05/2012

Projects Kick Off To Get Rural Youth Working

A Stormont minister has pledged to help young people in rural areas find work.

Michelle O'Neill, Rural Development Minister, is backing the "unique" BOOST programme, which gives practical support to unemployed rural young people or those about to finish school.

Ms O'Neill said she was "keen" to help reduce the one-in-five- joblessness rate among young people in Northern Ireland.

The BOOST programme kicks off next month with introductory workshops in seven towns.

Ms O'Neill, who is the Sinn Fein MLA for Mid Ulster, said: "Through participation in BOOST, rural unemployed 16-24 year-olds will have an opportunity to develop skills to increase their employability and improve their chances of securing a job. The level and quality of employability information offered makes the BOOST programme unique."

And the Department of Rural Development is also backing an entrepreneurship programme in the hope it will "develop business potential" and stop young people having to move to cities to find work.

The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship programme is designed for 16-30 year-olds and will involve mentoring and networking.

Ms O'Neill said: "I am keen to ensure that unemployed youth in rural areas get the support they need to help them into employment."

BOOST workshops take place on the following dates:

11/12th June - Cookstown

13/14th June - Newcastle

20/21st June - Armagh

25/26th June - Coleraine

27/28th June - Enniskillen

2/3rd July - Limavady

4/5th July – Carrickfergus

To register for BOOST or find out more, visit www.ruralnetworkni.org.uk

(NE)

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