“County Kildare LEADER Partnership launches Report on Youth Employment”


Minister of State Martin Hayden T.D. this week performed his first official Ministerial function as he launched a review of youth employment services for County Kildare LEADER Partnership.

Funded by the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) the Youth Employment Service works with young people under 25 years of age who are not in education, training, or employment in County Kildare. The review carried out by Dr. Maria Quinlan highlighted that over a two year period from 2018 to the end of March 2020, 394 young people had been assisted by SICAP. In 2019 134 young unemployed engaged with the service with 27 per cent moving into employment, 29 per cent returning to education or enrolling in a short training course, 27 per cent referred to other programmes/services; and 25 per cent actively seeking employment or further education opportunities.

Speaking at the launch Minister Hayden stated that “A clear message from this report and the excellent work carried out by CKLP is that many young people need a level of individual support on a 1:1 basis that complements the education, training and employment services that the State offers.”

“It is also clear that the person centred approach adopted here can have a very positive impact and that young people will respond and continue to engage over an extended period as they progress towards employment” he added.

One of Ireland’s leading food entrepreneurs, Domini Kemp was present at the launch to give a presentation of her experience of running an inmate entrepreneurship programme at Wheatfield Prison. This entrepreneurship programme was aired as a four part TV documentary highlighting the unique rehabilitation programme.

Pat Leogue, General / Social Inclusion Manager of County Kildare LEADER Partnership highlighted the fact that many of the service providers consulted for the review felt that the Youth Employment Service was having a positive impact on service provision for young people within Kildare, “For many stakeholders the service bridges the gap for their clients between where they currently find themselves and moving into full-time education or employment”.

The feedback from young people using the SICAP Youth Employment Service  identified three key areas where they benefited: building confidence and social skills; providing them with access to very useful practical skill-sets; and thirdly with access to pathways to progression – to both further education and to employment.

Particular credit for the success of the SICAP Youth Employment Service was attributed at the launch to the youth employment support workers who have worked with the young unemployed and to the agencies and voluntary organisations who provide referrals to the service.

“Young people voluntarily participate in all our services. I want to thank all the young people who have engaged with us over the years. Without them we wouldn’t have the service we do today.” said Laura Kelly, Youth Employment Support Worker with County Kildare LEADER Partnership

Further information on the Youth Employment Service funded by SICAP and managed by County Kildare LEADER Partnership is available by contacting Laura at laurak@countykildarelp.ie or 086 4615548.