WITHIN days of being announced in the last Kilkenny People forty youth training jobs offered by the two City Family Centres and FAS have been snapped up leading to calls from community leaders for similar initiatives for the hundreds of young Kilkenny people with little employment prospects that are still on the dole.
Manager of Newpark Close Family Centre, Sheila Donnelly, said they had originally thought they might struggle to fill the places but within days of the story running in the ‘People they were inundated with enquiries.
“It shows the great need for more of these kinds of community, Co. Council and Fas partnerships if young people are to be given a chance to contribute something useful to their community while also being given a chance to improve their labour market skills and further their own education, Mrs Donnelly said.
The 40 training jobs offered as part of a unique partnership between the Co .Council’s RAPID programme, Fas and the Family Centres will build community allotments in the West and East of the City, improve community green space areas while providing FETAC level training and accreditation to trainees during their time on the scheme.
Stephen Murphy, Director of Services, at the Fr. McGrath Family Centre said unemployed young people with little prospect of finding a job in the near future were now one of the biggest social problems facing RAPID housing communities across the city.
“A waiting list has now being created because of the demand to join this Fas employment training scheme. We are urging government services to respond to this huge demand and this terrible waste of young people’s lives with more opportunities to get them off the dole and onto community or socially useful education and training programmes.
“Failing to do this is resulting in a generation of young people who feel they are not socially valued and have no prospects in, or ownership of, the society that we are building in Ireland,” he added.
Mary Donnelly Manager of the Fas Local Training Scheme based in the Newpark Close Centre encouraged interested people to contact her or the Fas office in McDonagh Junction to put their names down for an employment training scheme.
“The more interest that young people show in trying to get off the dole and go on to further education or training opportunities the easier it becomes for community and statutory partnerships like this one to argue the case for better responses to young unemployed people from the Government,” she said.
“It has also been our previous experience that young people, if given a choice of spending a winter doing nothing or getting involved in doing something socially useful in their community, don’t hesitate to sign up for these courses. The problem is that there are not enough opportunities to meet the very large demand. That has to change,” Mary said.
Mary can be contacted at the Newpark Close Centre (056-7723309) or Wendy at the Fr. McGrath Centre (056 -7751988) are still taking names of people interested in accessing a 20 hour a week community based employment training scheme.