Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Apprentices: Giving young workers their breakthrough benefits us all

Unemployment in Northern Ireland has fallen for the 14th consecutive month, just one of a number of indicators of a recovery in the economy. But for one group of people, that recovery cannot come quickly enough.

Almost one in four young people aged 18-24 is on the dole queue and that is a shocking statistic. This is the workforce of the future, but many cannot get their foot on the jobs ladder.

This newspaper's campaign to create apprenticeships has exceeded its target, getting 68 young people into training in 50 days across the business spectrum, from a global accountancy firm to small local employers. These apprentices are now gaining a chance to show employers their worth and this is a valuable way into the world of work.

We congratulate the companies involved and also the Department for Employment and Learning for their efforts to make young people's dreams come true.

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