A fit-for-purpose youth employability scheme could help stop the “brain drain” of young people leaving Northern Ireland to find work, East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has said.
A scheme similar to the Kick Start programme already launched in other parts of the UK is to be launched here by the Department for the Economy and Department for Communities. It provides financial incentives for employers to employ young people.
Details needed to be made public – to young job-seekers and employers alike – so that the benefits were made clear and as many young people were brought into employment as possible, Ms Sugden said.
“We need to be willing to support our young people to find work here, otherwise they will continue moving to other parts of the UK, Ireland and beyond to find work. We invest so much in our young people – people who want to live and work in Northern Ireland – only to see them leave because they can’t find the jobs they want.
“The scheme needs to be launched as soon as possible – we are already behind the rest of the UK in launching similar programmes.
“As the initial and comprehensive furlough system comes to an end, and jobs become more scarce, we need to support our young people – and indeed the rest of our workforce – as much as we can.”