30/11/2012

Minister Delivers Speech On Youth Employment Challenge

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today delivered a keynote speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) HR Leadership Forum on the youth employment challenge.

Addressing the group of leading employers at the Belfast campus of the University of Ulster on his Department’s Youth Employment Scheme, the Minister said: "The ongoing challenging economic conditions have hit young people particularly hard. Without relevant recent work experience many of our young people, including those recently graduated, 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. Core strands of this new scheme include early intensive diagnosis of employability skills, sector-based work experience and a new employer subsidy."

The Minister called on employers to get involved in the scheme by providing opportunities for young people to gain work experience, develop additional skills and to achieve recognised relevant qualifications saying: "The success of this initiative for the young unemployed will depend on the commitment of employers. We need employers to support this programme. I am encouraging employers to sign up to YES and help to facilitate and enable the skills development of our next generation. Over 1,000 employer subsidies of £5,750 a year will also be provided to employers in sectors which have the potential to help rebuild and rebalance the economy who are willing to hire a young person who is unemployed. This scale of investment is substantially more in relative terms compared to other jurisdictions in these islands. Right across the country from Larne to Strabane young people are in work today who, but for this Scheme would still be unemployed."

(CD/GK)

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