First Start Initiative Helps 100 People Towards Employment

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today announced that over 100 young people have already been helped towards permanent employment through the First Start initiative.

First Start is targeted at long-term unemployed 18-24 year olds throughout Northern Ireland, providing them with supported waged employment lasting for at least 26 weeks.

Meeting some of the young people participating on the scheme in Lisburn, Minister Farry said: "My Department is committed to helping unemployed young people find and sustain employment and this new initiative seeks to achieve this. First Start provides young unemployed people waged employment for six months, giving them a chance to kickstart their careers. Programmes such as this help boost the number of jobs available exclusively for our young unemployed."

First Start, which was introduced in November 2012 as part of the Executive’s Economy and Jobs Initiative package, is a strand of the Department for Employment and Learning's 'Steps to Work' programme.

Dr Farry continued: "I want to ensure that young people who are currently disengaged are provided at the earliest possible stage with the skills to gain jobs. These projects are designed to ensure that no-one is left behind and that we build opportunities for all our young people, particularly those in areas of deprivation right across our community. The initiative also provides employers with short term support to encourage them to recruit unemployed young people into permanent employment."


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