Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said youth employability programmes must deliver future opportunities for young people participating.
The party’s economy spokesperson said:
“COVID19 has hit young people particularly hard, they are the group most likely to have been furloughed and there are projections of very high youth unemployment in the months ahead.
“It is vital that training and employability programmes are put in place for young people who find themselves unemployed and with limited options due to COVID19.
“This week the Kickstart Scheme, a temporary subsidised employment scheme, launched in Britain. It offers ‘work placements’ at minimum wage for 25 hours per week for young people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit, for up to six months. Some finance for that scheme has come to the Executive as a result of a Barnett consequential.
“The Minister for Communities is currently looking at options for youth employability schemes here in the north.
“It will be important to ensure that any scheme delivers foryoung people, in terms of providing the opportunity to obtain skills and experience that will help them to gain employment or go on to further training.
“I will be meeting with the Minister to discuss the employability schemes for young people.
“I will advocate for a better approach than that in England and for a skills focus to any programmes put in place that will deliver future
opportunities for those young people participating.”