Mid Ulster MLA offers work placement to tackle youth unemployment

Youth unemployment
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A MID Ulster assembly member is offering a one-month work placement position, as part of an initiative to tackle youth unemployment.

Sandra Overend who made the offer is hosting a meeting in Cookstown on Wednesday [November 20] to give young people the opportunity to seek advice from a number of agencies, the South West College, Northern Regional College, Rural Youth Enterprise, The Prince’s Trust, and Jobs and Benefits Office.

She said the issue of young people out of work was an acute problem in Mid Ulster.

“Youth unemployment is a problem which is damaging the futures of young people across Europe and the world, and it is felt right here in Northern Ireland and Mid-Ulster just as acutely.

“For the three months July-September 2013, the NI employment rate for 18-24 year olds is estimated at 22.5% compared to the UK average rate of 19.8%.

“These statistics make for worrying reading, but it is easy to lose sight of the human aspect of these problems and focus on the wider problem in the abstract.”

Mrs Overend said she hopes to give young people the practical help and support they very much need to move from unemployed to employed, into training or even to set up their own business.

“My youth focused event, which will be held on Wednesday, 20th November in the South West College, Cookstown, at 8 pm, is geared towards equipping young people in the area with the knowledge and the information they need to find and secure employment or further training.

“Often, young people can find themselves becoming stuck in a cycle of joblessness and benefits claims. The current economic climate, although improving, is still very difficult in terms of securing work, especially for a young person with few qualifications or practical experience.

“I am also offering a one month work placement within my Constituency Office, in partnership with the Jobs and Benefits Office for one person who attends this event. Details will be given at the event, and I would advise anyone interested to bring along a copy of their CV.

“Young people from right across Mid-Ulster will be very welcome to attend. For more information about the event, please contact my office on 028 867 48090, or email me on sandra.overend@mla.niassembly.gov.uk.”