LOCAL young people are set to benefit from work experience opportunities provided through the Youth Employment Scheme (YES).
YES, which recently received the backing of The Prince’s Trust, aims to provide a platform to assist young people to gain experience, acquire new skills and find employment.
Calling on young people from the Newtownabbey area to get involved in the work experience opportunities, Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “The Youth Employment Scheme addresses the issue of youth unemployment by improving young people’s skills to enable them to get a job.
“Employability skills can be obtained by active participation in a work setting with an employer or a voluntary organisation, and I am calling on young unemployed people to participate in YES and avail of a wide range of work experience opportunities on offer at www.jobcentreonline.com.
“A work experience opportunity with an employer can provide the chance to sample different types of work, improve levels of confidence and motivation and help develop new skills.
“My Department will support those employers who recruit our talented young people, which will not only improve their business performance, but also help grow the local economy.”
The Princes Trust has agreed to provide work experience opportunities for young people within their organisation, along with over 400 other employers and voluntary organisations.
The charity is also creating real job opportunities directly and will work with its delivery partners to explore other opportunities for job creation for young people.
The Youth Employment Scheme is a voluntary programme. Young unemployed people who are in receipt of benefits may avail of two to eight week work experience placements where they can develop employability skills with no loss of benefits.
Longer six to nine month work experience opportunities blended with skills development are also on offer and young people participating in this element of the scheme will receive a benefit top-up of £45 a week.
In addition there is an enhanced employer subsidy payable to employers who are in a position to offer unemployed young people aged 18-24 years old with a job that includes an element of training in priority sectors.
Ian Jeffers, Director of The Prince’s Trust said: “With more young people finding themselves in a catch 22 situation where they can’t land a job because they don’t have experience, we need to find more creative ways to help our young people into work.
“The Youth Employment Scheme is to be welcomed as a positive step in the right direction and The Prince’s Trust is delighted to give our full backing to the scheme.”
For more information about the work experience opportunities available through YES contact Newtownabbey Jobs and Benefits Office or log on to www.nidirect.gov.uk/yes