Youth Employment Scheme
The Youth Employment Scheme in Northern Ireland is designed to give you help and support in looking for permanent work if you are unemployed and between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.
Voluntary opportunity to develop skills
The scheme is entirely voluntary and will help develop the skills you need to get a job. Employability skills are more readily obtained by active participation in a work setting with an employer or a voluntary organisation.
A work experience opportunity/placement with an employer can give you the chance to sample particular types of work, improve your levels of confidence and motivation and help develop your employability skills.
There are both short and longer term opportunities available.
Work experience - watch and learn
Watch the videos to see how the Youth Employment Scheme and undertaking work experience have helped some young people develop their skills and improve their chances of getting a job.
- Play the video and hear some young people's experience of the Youth Employment Scheme
- Play the video and see how work experience helped James McCullagh get a job
Work experience opportunities
Work experience opportunities last for between three and eight weeks and you will be given the chance to try out a range of tasks in a real work situation.
The emphasis is on providing you with an opportunity to sample the world of work, develop your employability skills and give you work-related experience that you can use at future job interviews to demonstrate these skills. These skills may include:
- working in a team
- using your initiative
- problem solving
- planning and organising
- communication and interpersonal skills
- computer skills
Will I get paid?
During your placement you will receive a Training Allowance equivalent to your benefit entitlement plus a premium of £15.38 a week. You may also be entitled to assistance with travel costs in excess of £4 per week that you incur going to and from your placement. If eligible you may also get help with childcare costs.
Whilst work experience will not be long enough to train you how to do a specific job it will provide the basis for an employer to see what employability skills you have. Employers highly value these skills as they can be used in a range of workplace settings.
The Skills Development programme is a work placement that lasts up to 26 weeks, combined with skills training,primarily in sectors where there is potential for future jobs growth.
The emphasis is on upskilling participants and you will be given the opportunity to achieve additional qualifications or build on existing ones. You will be expected to take part in training relevant to the occupation you are involved in.
Will I get paid?
You will receive a Training Allowance equivalent to your benefit entitlement plus a premium of £45 per week. In addition, travel costs in excess of £4 per week will be reimbursed.
Enhanced Employer Subsidy
An employer who can offer you a full time job may be entitled to an enhanced subsidy of up to £5,750 during your first year of employment providing they offer relevant skills training.
The types of opportunities on offer
Businesses of all sizes can offer work experience placements, skills development opportunities and vacancies. Skills Development opportunities and Enhanced Employer vacancies will be advertised on the Jobcentreonline website and at your local Jobs and Benefits office or JobCentre. Staff in these offices can offer advice on the availability of work experience placements.
On Jobcentreonline, if you go to the Advanced Search feature you can select "Youth Employment Scheme" opportunities.
How to get on the Youth Employment Scheme
To benefit from the Youth Employment Scheme you will need to meet with an Employment Service Adviser in your local Jobs and Benefits Office or JobCentre. Your Adviser will discuss with you a range of employability skills including developing job search skills, CV building and interview techniques. They can also help you identify suitable opportunities under the Youth Employment Scheme which will improve your chances of getting a job.
The Scheme is voluntary and you will not lose your benefits if you don’t accept a placement. You will receive a Training Allowance during a placement and you may also be entitled to assistance with travel costs and childcare costs.
You can get more information on the Youth Employment Scheme by contacting your local Jobs and Benefits office or JobCentre or by ringing 0300 200 7822.