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5th - 6th March 2015 - Meeting in Dublin

The Way to Learn to Work (WTLTW) visit to Dublin Ireland, hosted by Ballymun Job Centre, took place on the 5th and 6th of March 2015. The WTLTW partners heard the various programmes and initiatives that are used to move young people into training, education and employment.

To begin partners were given a presentation on the training and education system in Ireland as well as some information on youth unemployment both nationally and locally. Following on from this they heard about the EQUAL Youth Interagency Network, which brings together a number of agencies in the local area working with young people, aged 16–24yrs who are disadvantaged in the labour market. The aim is to encourage an interagency approach to assist this group to access education, training and employment, which they may not achieve should the agencies be working in isolation. They then went on to met participants of the Ballyrunners programme, a programme which evolved from the Equal Youth Network. The main aim of the Ballyrunners programme is to engage young people who are at risk of constructive activities and help them to alleviate their boredom and promote life skills, pro-social attitudes and activities. It is hoped that this in turn will lead to a reduction in anti-social and criminal behaviours, decreased drug use, increased engagement with local services, improved self-worth and greater chances of employment.

During the visit the Ballymun Youth Guarantee (BYG) Pilot Scheme was presented by the Assistant Principle for the Ballymun Intreo Office Vincent Hegarty. The BYG pilot focused on providing young people (18–24) with a quality offer of education, training, work experience or employment within a short time of becoming unemployed. They worked with employers, education providers and community organisations to test out new ways to engage with the young unemployed. It had a vital role, not just in supporting the young people of Ballymun, but in informing the development and rollout of the national Youth Guarantee.

The WTLTW partners also visited Ballymun Regional Youth Service (BRYR), a youth development and welfare organisation. BRYR provides a range of activities, services and resources for young people from Ballymun (10-24 years of age) to help them have a happy, healthy and successful transition to adulthood. The core belief underpinning BRYR’s work is that every young person has the power within themselves to live a positive life. They believe the more opportunities and outlooks young people are exposed to, the more rounded their experiences will be.

The visit on the first day concluded with a tour of the Finglas Training Centre, which delivers an extensive range of training to a diverse range of clients including those entering the labour market for the first time, job changers, persons wishing to up-date or acquire new skills, those changing careers, persons with a disability and early school leavers. Some of the facilities visited included Apprenticeship Training courses for, Electricians and Hairdressing, Courses in IT, Interior Design, Aircraft Maintenance and Computer Aided Design.

The morning of second day of the visit consisted of presentations of a number of National work placement schemes. Cathy Nugent of the Department of Social Protection gave a presentation the National internship Scheme, JobBridge which provides work experience opportunities for unemployed people. Following on from this Martin McMahon of Accent Solutions gave a presentation on being involved in JobBridge from an employer’s perspective. Marian Davis then provided an overview of the Community Employment (CE) programme which is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities. To conclude the work placement schemes section of the visit, Barry Sheridan, the Economic Development Manager for the Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership, presented the Tus Initiative, a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.

The final part of the visit was spent at Ballymun YouthReach Centre. Ballymun Youthreach which is part of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board is a community based second chance centre of education. The Centre is open to 16 – 20 year olds, and to fifteen year olds with special dispensation from the education officer. The Centre offers a full Fetac level 3 and level 4 programme as well as some subjects at level 5 including cosmetics studies. Some other courses available include Personal Development, Beauty, Art, Framing, Communications and Cooking. There is also a gym facility and radio broadcasting room. The tour was followed by lunch in the centre which was prepared by the chef Luca along with assistance from the students.

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The Way to Learn to Work project is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.