Hargey welcomes job opportunities for young people as JobStart scheme takes flight

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has encouraged employers to sign up for JobStart after visiting one of the first businesses to participate in the programme.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 6:00 am
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Director of Crowded Space Drones, Andrew McQuillan and Crowded Space Drones’ Business Development Manager, Stephen Mills

More than 270 employers have already applied for funding from the £20million employer incentive scheme, launched by the Department for Communities last month. JobStart is designed to support 16-24 year olds facing additional employment challenges due to the impact of Covid-19.

Speaking after a visit to Crowded Space Drones, a video production company which has offered nine positions to JobStart participants, Minister Hargey said: “The economic impact of Covid-19 on the employment prospects of our young people cannot be underestimated. That is why I have made it my priority to support those 16-24 year olds at risk of long-term unemployment.”

The programme provides funding for local businesses, including those in the voluntary and community sector, to create job opportunities for a period of six to nine months, dependent on criteria.

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Minister Hargey continued: “JobStart aims to develop employability skills and to place young people in positions which align with their individual skills and interests. The positions available here today, which include camera operators, flight planners and video editors, demonstrate the range of opportunities that can be created.

“I would encourage other employers to take this opportunity to invest in our young people and to benefit from the strengths that they can bring to your business.”

Andrew McQuillan, Director of Crowded Space Drones added: “I have been genuinely delighted by the Department for Communities’ approach to this scheme and the willingness to listen and consider the needs of employers and the wider business community. I have no doubt JobStart will benefit both businesses and young people and we are thrilled to be part of it.”

Applications for funding from the JobStart Scheme will run until March 31 2022. It is expected that over 3,000 new job opportunities will be created. Further information for employers and information on the application process to the JobStart scheme can be found at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/jobstart.

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