Youth Employment Scheme announced for 2018

James Nolan

A new internship programme aimed at young people who find it difficult to enter employment will be launched next year, announced Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty.

The Youth Employment Scheme, which is to be introduced online in the second quarter of 2018, will be set up to aid young job seekers who face barriers to employment.

The new initiative will replace the JobBridge programme, which was brought to a halt last year following various calls for discontinuation amongst political parties.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated that the new scheme will be a more focused initiative than the previous programme, which came under scrutiny for small top up payments and the exploitation of workers by employers.

Minister Doherty says the scheme is not just aimed at graduates, but at young people as a whole.

“There are young people who have barriers to accessing employment, who want to be able to access employment. It will be a voluntary scheme, no one is going to be made go on it,” said Doherty.

While the Youth Employment Scheme is set to target young people, doubts remain over whether it will be beneficial for college students, especially those who already have intra programmes attached to their course.

DCU Journalism student, Luke Redmond, believes the scheme will be of little use to him or any student who have intra programmes during their time in college.

“I would say the programme will be of little use to me because my course has an Intra programme that is widely known to be a good way to secure future job prospects. It seems to be targeted at the unemployed as opposed to students,” said Redmond.

“However, it will present unemployed young people, who haven’t got the academic qualifications of an average college student, with a great opportunity to get their foot in the door,” he added.

Communications student, Kate Wood, believes the scheme presents a great opportunity for students with no set internships on their course.

“It sounds like a really good idea! So many employers ask for years of experience, meaning graduates who have none are completely stuck for options,” said Wood.

“If the new scheme came in for courses like mine, it’d be amazing. In courses like this, we are told we may have to do a lot of unpaid work in order to get paid work. This attitude is ridiculous and unrealistic as people need to earn a wage to live. This scheme would lend me the experience to go into a well paid job,” she added.

James Nolan