The Youth Guarantee is an EU initiative which aims to provide young people from the age 18 -24 with a good quality offer of employment, education, training or apprenticeship within a short time of becoming unemployed. It is an ambitious programme that will take time to fully implement and require ongoing investment and sustained effort by Government, employers and jobseekers alike
The Ballymun Youth Guarantee was one of the first of its kind to receive approval from the EU Commission and began working in October 2013. While it is still at an early stage, the pilot has a very important role to play, not just for the young people of Ballymun, but in informing the development and roll out of the national Youth Guarantee Scheme.
Link to successful EU application for the Ballymun Youth Guarantee.
It is a very exciting partnership of all of the key stakeholders – public employment services, education and training providers, local development and youth organisations, employer and trade union representatives led by the Department of Social Protection – who have come together to design and implement an activation approach tailored to meet the needs of young unemployed people in one of the country’s most severely disadvantaged areas.
The pilot represents a more intensive systematic engagement with young unemployed people and will include elements of assessment, guidance, education and training with an emphasis on providing a work placement opportunity as a route to permanent employment. Each will receive a guarantee of access to career guidance leading to identification of an individual career plan with follow-through to training, education, work experience or full-time employment. Depending on their individual needs, steps in that career plan might include personal assessment, job search assistance, skills training, work exposure and experience, but the clear objective in all cases will be to lead the young person on a pathway to employment placement or further education or training.
A particular focus is to involve and build links with employers, not just to maximise take up of existing incentives and supports, such as JobsPlus and JobBridge, but to generate new innovative work placement and experience opportunities, such as job shadowing, job sampling and blended education, training and work experience options. It will also to ensure that the guidance and training elements are tailored to the needs of the labour market. There is an intensive employer engagement process underway which has received the full support of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce (through their Activating Dublin programme) and Ibec, both of which are represented on the National Steering Group which is overseeing the implementation of the pilot.
The pilot began its operational phase in January 2014 and the first of the participants are being supported through the process. The service will be offered to all newly unemployed young people in the Ballymun area, and, on a phased basis, to all young people currently on the Live Register there over the lifetime of the project. The pilot runs until the end of September 2014 and will be fully and independently evaluated. The approach is designed to ensure that lessons from the local pilot experience will assist in the further development and roll out of the national scheme. On-going post-pilot support will, of course, continue to be provided to all those who are involved in the process.
The pilot received a grant of €250,000 from the European Union towards the total cost of the project, which is just over €300,000.