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 work experience have helped some young people get the opportunity to try new things, 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 two 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?
You will continue to receive your full entitlement to benefit during your placement. You may also be entitled to assistance with the travel costs 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 are used in a range of workplace settings.
The Skills Development programme
The Skills Development programme is a work placement that lasts between six and nine months, combined with skills training, in sectors where there is potential for future jobs growth. These sectors include:
- hotel and catering (in support of tourism)
- manufacturing (including agri-foods)
- health and life sciences
- financial services
- ICT services
- social and childcare
- creative industries and digital media
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 approximately 150 hours of 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 £45 a week premium. In addition, travel costs over £4 per week will be reimbursed.
Enhanced Employer Subsidy
If you have the opportunity of a full time job in any of the jobs growth sectors (as outlined under "Skills Development Programme") your employer will be entitled to an enhanced subsidy of £5,000 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. They will be advertised on the JobCentre Online website and at your local Jobs and Benefits office or JobCentre.
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 continue to receive your full entitlement 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.