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Minister Burton announces green light for Youth Guarantee Scheme in Ballymun

Pilot project to help 18 to 24-year-olds into work, training and education

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has today (4th July 2013) confirmed that Ballymun, Dublin, has been selected as one of the first Youth Guarantee Schemes to proceed in the EU following funding approval by the European Commission and the Government.

Under the pilot project, the Department of Social Protection, education and training providers, and local development organisations, youth services and employers will team up to provide work, training and educational opportunities for young people in the area.

The Youth Guarantee is an EU initiative agreed by the Member States under Minister Burton’s chairmanship during Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of this year.

Once implemented from 2014, the Guarantee will assure young people between 18 and 25 a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship, a traineeship or work experience within four months of becoming unemployed.

A number of pilot projects will be run across the EU this year ahead of full implementation of the Guarantee, and Ballymun has now been approved as one of the pilot projects.

Funding of €302,000 will be provided for the Ballymun Youth Guarantee Scheme, with €250,000 from the European Commission and €52,000 from the Government.

Minister Burton said: “I am delighted to announce the green light for the Ballymun Youth Guarantee Scheme, which will be hugely significant in terms of increasing opportunities for young people in the area.

“This will be a collaborative approach, involving local organisations, services and employers as well as Government Departments and State agencies, and will help inform the national rollout of the Youth Guarantee.

“My Department is currently developing an action plan to implement the Guarantee in Ireland from next year, and Ballymun can show the way in terms of developing best practice and partnership to ensure young people get the work, training and educational opportunities they need.

“I want to commend all those involved in getting the Ballymun Youth Guarantee Scheme to this point and I also want to thank the European Commission for approving Ballymun as one of the pilot projects and providing funding for it.”

Notes to Editors:

The pilot Youth Guarantee Scheme (YGS) in Ballymun will include elements of assessment, guidance, education and training with a particular focus on providing a work placement opportunity with local employers as a route to permanent employment for young people aged 18 to 24.

The YGS will guarantee access to career guidance and assistance leading to identification of an individual career plan for the young unemployed person with follow-through to training, education, work experience or full-time employment.

The YGS will be managed at strategic level by a partnership of senior representatives of the key stakeholder organisations, led by the Department of Social Protection.

The National Steering Group will consist of a representative from the Department Of Social Protection (Chair), Irish Local Development Network (ILDN), City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC), FAS (the national training authority), Department of Education, the Irish Business and Employers Conference (IBEC), and the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).

This partnership approach will be mirrored at local level by a similar team which will implement the pilot scheme. This approach is designed to ensure that lessons from the local pilot will assist in the formation of national policy regarding the future development of Youth Guarantee Schemes.

The Local Implementation Team will comprise representatives of relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Social Protection, FAS, CDVEC, Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership, and Ballymun JobCentre/Local Employment Service.

A particular focus of the YGS will be to involve, and build links with, employers in the locality and the immediate hinterland in order to ensure that the guidance and training elements of the YGS are tailored to the needs of the local labour market and also to generate work placement/experience opportunities for the YGS participants.

Target Group:

The target group for participants will be unemployed persons aged 18 to 24 years. They will be drawn from two streams:

(i) Young people who are coming on to the Live Register during the period of the pilot and who are registering at the Ballymun office.

(ii) Young people who have already been unemployed for some time.

Proposed Timeline:

The YGS will get under way in October 2013.