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‘RYE Connect’ Programme provides opportunities for young people in rural areas - O’Neill

23 November, 2015 - by Michelle O'Neill


Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has urged young people in rural areas to grasp the opportunity to improve their career prospects by participating in the ‘RYE Connect’ Programme.

The ‘RYE Connect’ Programme is an innovative approach aimed at igniting ideas and encouraging enterprise development among young people in rural areas. Minister O’Neill has allocated match funding of £193,698 over three years for the initiative under DARD’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme.

‘RYE Connect’ is led by the Rural Development Council (RDC) in partnership with The Advantage Foundation Ltd and has an international dimension bringing together organisations from Finland and Greenland under the EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) 2014-2020.

Encouraging young people in rural areas to participate in the Programme, Minister O’Neill said:

“I am delighted to be supporting this initiative with £193,698 in match funding, over a three year period, under my Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme. RYE Connect will provide up to 400 young people aged 18-30 living in rural areas with the support to help turn a business idea into reality.

“Engaging young people in rural enterprise has the potential to make rural life more attractive by providing employment and income, thereby addressing rural poverty and isolation. It will also enable young people to remain in rural areas with their families and contribute to the sustainability of their community and the local economy.

“I look forward to seeing the positive outworking of the Programme and learning from other regions in tackling youth employment, which is now considered a worldwide issue.”

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