DERRY City and Strabane District Council is the first local employer to champion the Peace IV funded Youth Business Charter (YBC) developed within its Youth 19 Programme, a year-long programme dedicated to young people between the ages of 12 and 24.
The PEACE IV EU funded programme is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with match-funding from The Executive Office NI.
Signing the Youth Charter on behalf of the Council, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said the Youth Business Charter is a fantastic initiative aimed at engaging and empowering young people through their participation in the development of events and initiatives for Youth 19.
“I am delighted that Council is spearheading this initiative by being the first local employer to sign up to the Charter and to endorse the work that the Youth 19 team are doing to put the needs and views of young people to the fore.
“The Youth Business Charter is a key project within Youth 19, and supports the Strategic Growth Plan commitment within Education and Skills working towards securing a better skilled and educated workforce.”
The purpose of the Charter is to highlight the positive work being carried out by employers in helping young people find a pathway to employment.
It also raises awareness among young people of the industries and employers that are supportive of young people and will assist in their personal and career development.
The Youth Business Charter was successfully developed and agreed by 20 young people.
Working in partnership with local companies they aspire to achieve a number of key objectives that include providing volunteering, work experience and taster opportunities and where possible, paid apprenticeships and internships for young people.
A key element of the Youth Charter is the focus on inclusivity and the focus on building personal development skills.
The Mayor explained that the Youth Business Charter is a key objective set out in the Council’s Strategic Growth Plan.
This aims to provide work experience and upskilling opportunities for young people entering the labour market or who are long term unemployed or economically inactive.
“We have carried out research with young people that has identified that among the many challenges they face are a lack of jobs, career advice and apprenticeships with little opportunity for small business innovation.
“With this in mind the Council secured PEACE IV funding to assist us with the development of the Youth Business Charter that will help overcome these issues and work to promote employment opportunities for young people across the Derry and Strabane areas.”
Encouraging businesses to sign up to the Charter, Skills Manager with Council, Tina Gillespie, said it was a fantastic opportunity for local employers to connect with young people.
“We will be actively encouraging local employers to sign up and avail of the many benefits the Charter offers.
“The Youth Business Charter streamlines the employer’s connection to young people who want to work for an organisation that aspires to have good youth participation practice and allows them to showcase the work they are doing to help and assist young people in the workplace.
“Organisations that sign up will be recognised and promoted through an extensive marketing campaign that highlights their commitment to supporting the development of young employees.
“Their participation in the scheme will also raise their profile and can be viewed by customers as an organisation that cares.
“We firmly believe that by signing up to the Youth Charter businesses can recruit high calibre employees by becoming the employers of choice and that it has the potential to increase productivity and staff retention through improved engagement and job satisfaction,” she concluded.
Businesses and local employers interested in signing up to the Youth Business Charter can do so by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org