Newpark Close and the Fr. McGrath Family Resource Centres in the City are to offer forty young unemployed people the opportunity to take part in a forty week training initiative aimed at increasing their labour market skills in an effort to help them find work.
With youth unemployment rates at their highest in Kilkenny since the 1950’s both family centres are working closely with FAS , the Co. Councils RAPID programme and the Dept Social Protection to offer young people an alternative to staying on the dole.
Manager of the Newpark Close Family Centre, Sheila Donnelly said that unemployed young people with little prospect of finding a job in the near future are now one of the biggest social problems facing RAPID housing communities across the City. “The partnership we are developing with FAS and the Co. Council through the RAPID programme is helping us to give young unemployed people an opportunity to skill up and improve their chances to find work while at the same time helping us improve green and public areas of the city.’ she said.
The Fetac level 4 training modules run over forty weeks will involve young people working on and improving community gardens in the City area while developing a range of skills in hard landscape construction, plant propagation and care and developing their team work and I.T. training skills. FAS Supervisor, Mary Donnelly, said that to make the training attractive to young people the 20 hour a week course will involve a wide mix of practical and formal training and trainees will also have the opportunity for hands on work experience with Kilkenny businesses and the Co. Council. The Family Centres are particularly keen to hear from young people in RAPID housing areas in the City.
“It has 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,” Mary Donnelly said. The 20 hours per week training projects starting in October will run from St. Canice’s Neighbourhood Hall on the Butts Green and the Newpark Close Family Centre from Monday to Friday 9.30 – 1.30pm
Anyone interested can contact Mary or Sheila at the Newpark Close Centre (056-7723309) or Wendy at the Fr. McGrath Centre (056 -7751988) for details or contact their local FAS office.