Wexford Local Development has a long and strong history of working with young people, who are not engaged in education, employment or training. We were delighted that our work in this area was showcased at both national and EU level, as part of a report launched by Pobal, the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Social Fund (ESF) in Ireland, at a seminar in Dublin on Monday, October 23rd, 2017.
Download Summary Report – Kickboxing, Kindness & Going The Extra Mile
Good Practice For Working With NEETs Under SICAP
WLD featured as a ‘spotlight’ and a case study in the research aimed at uncovering and highlighting good practice across the country. The need for this research was identified by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal and was co-funded by the ESF. It aims to provide both Irish and EU audiences with well evidenced data on ‘what works’ – whether that be by engaging through sport, through Driver Theory Test training, through working with partner organisations & local community groups, being at the post-office on “dole day” or by being out in the community playing football on the green!
The research identified 19 recommendations of best practice for engaging disadvantaged young people and Wexford Local Development’s SICAP team played a key role in the project. As one of the case-studies highlighted, we presented at a workshop during the Dublin event, talking about what has worked well for us as and the challenges faced, as well as sharing how we work to overcome barriers to the engagement of these young people in order to link them to opportunities and services that can help creative positive change in their lives. During the period of the case study we worked with a total of 575 young people who were not already linked to education, employment or training, with 7% of these being aged under 18 years old and 84% having an education level of Leaving Cert or lower.
This cohort of young people are termed “NEETs” (Not in Education, Employment, Training). Many of WLD’s programmes are targeted at the very hard to reach NEETS; young people who live in jobless households; young people who experience issues with substance misuse or criminality; young Travellers; young people living in disadvantaged communities; young Roma; young mothers parenting alone & young people who have left school early. Currently the youth unemployment rate in Ireland is 14.8%, which is a dramatic improvement since the height of the recession, but remains stubbornly higher than that of the general population.
We continue to develop programmes to support young people to take that step forward into employment, training, personal development, work experience or second-chance education, and we strive to be innovative, responsive and creative in our work – we will always go the extra mile.
Picture Credit: Twitter #SICAPNEETs