Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

New bid to tackle high youth unemployment in Derry

A £2m cross-community initiative has been launched in Londonderry in a bid to tackle the high unemployment levels among young people.

Youth Works is an education and training programme for 16-17-year-olds which aims to help teenagers in this age bracket make themselves more employable.

Derry has the highest level of youth unemployment and social deprivation in Northern Ireland but this programme hopes to engage with hard-to-reach young people without qualifications.

It is backed by the International Fund for Ireland.

Project co-ordinator Kathleen Grego said Youth Works will incorporate essential skills, personal development and reconciliation work. She said: “Youth Works aims to do exactly what it says — to demonstrate that our young people can, do and will work.

“The level of unemployment in Derry and the greater north west is significantly higher than other parts of the North.

“But it is clear there is no shortage of work ethic among young people and the wider population given the enormous amount of applications employers are receiving for vacant posts.

The programme, which will begin next month and continue for a total of 26 weeks, is cross-community and structured around peace and reconciliation, mentoring and personal development.

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