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O’Neill committed to helping address youth unemployment in rural areas

24 May, 2012 - by Michelle O'Neill

Addressing youth unemployment in rural areas is a key priority for Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill.

Pledging her commitment to tackling the barriers faced by young unemployed people in rural areas Minister O’Neill said: “With more than one in five young people in the north out of work, I am keen to ensure that unemployed youth in rural areas get the assistance and support they need to help them into employment. Through the Tackling Poverty and Social Isolation framework, my department is supporting two initiatives aimed at increasing employability and promoting entrepreneurship.”

Outlining the BOOST initiative which is supported by her Department and co-funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme, Minister O’Neill said: “Through participation in the BOOST Programme rural unemployed 16-24 year olds will have an opportunity to develop skills to increase their employability and improve their chances of securing a job. The level and quality of employability information offered and the interactive methods used to reach the target participants, make the BOOST programme unique in the marketplace.”

DARD is also supporting the Rural Youth Entrepreneurship (RYE) Programme which aims to develop business potential among vulnerable 16-30 year olds in rural areas.

Minister O’Neill explained: “The RYE programme will create the foundations for the development of future rural businesses through upskilling, networking, mentoring and sharing of ideas to stimulate business creation. “I am confident that these innovative initiatives will help reduce rural youth migration and increase sustainability of rural communities. I encourage unemployed young people in rural areas to make the most of the support available through these and other youth employability projects."

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