Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has encouraged employers to sign up for JobStart after visiting one of the first businesses to participate in the programme.
More than 270 employers have already applied for funding from the £20million employer incentive scheme, launched by the Department for Communities last month. JobStart is designed to support 16-24 year olds facing additional employment challenges due to the impact of Covid-19.
Speaking after a visit to Crowded Space Drones, a video production company which has offered nine positions to JobStart participants, Minister Hargey said:
“The economic impact of Covid-19 on the employment prospects of our young people cannot be underestimated.
“That is why I have made it my priority to support those 16-24 year olds at risk of long-term unemployment.”
The programme provides funding for local businesses, including those in the voluntary and community sector, to create job opportunities for a period of six to nine months, dependent on criteria.
Minister Hargey continued:
“JobStart aims to develop employability skills and to place young people in positions which align with their individual skills and interests.
“The positions available here today, which include camera operators, flight planners and video editors, demonstrate the range of opportunities that can be created.
“I would encourage other employers to take this opportunity to invest in our young people and to benefit from the strengths that they can bring to your business.”
Andrew McQuillan, Director of Crowded Space Drones said:
“I have been genuinely delighted by the Department for Communities' approach to this scheme and the willingness to listen and consider the needs of employers and the wider business community.
“I have no doubt JobStart will benefit both businesses and young people and we are thrilled to be part of it.”
Applications for funding from the JobStart Scheme will run until 31 March 2022. It is expected that over 3,000 new job opportunities will be created. Further information for employers and information on the application process to the JobStart scheme can be found at nidirect.
Notes to editors:
- A JobStart multi-channel media campaign will commence on 10 May 2021.
- Young people interested in the JobStart Scheme can find out more by talking to a Youth Work Coach.
- Media enquiries to the DfC Press Office
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
- Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI
- Town and city centre investment helping thousands of businesses in their recovery – Hargey 15 June 2021
- Hargey visits Fivemiletown Library 15 June 2021
- Hargey visits Coalisland to view Public Realm works 15 June 2021
- Minister welcomes completion of public realm improvement works to Bishop Street, Derry 14 June 2021