Matthieu Seguin, Managing Director, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland (right) and Deputy Alan Farrell, Chair of Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee (left) with Yvonne O’Sullivan and Jennifer Collins. (Photo: Julien Behal Photography)
Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland launched the new initiative which, in its first year, will provide training to 400 unemployed young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The #YouthEmpowered programme looks to zone in on young people currently not in employment, training or education.
The bespoke programme will be delivered in partnership with Fastrack to IT (FIT). It has been created to remove barriers for people between the ages of 18 and 30 who have left the formal education system but haven’t gone on to secure employment. The first two modules of the programme offer life skills and business understanding, ‘Me & Others’ and ‘Me & the Workplace’, respectively.
Youth unemployment currently stands at 12.7% while the national unemployment level has fallen to 6.3%. This equates to 32,000 young people across Ireland being unemployed with 11,000 of these in long-term unemployment.
The Managing Director of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, Matthieu Seguin, said: “Coca-Cola HBC passionately believes in the potential of young people as leaders and community change-makers. As a leading employer across Ireland and Northern Ireland, we have a responsibility to ensure that the society in which we operate is sustainable and prosperous for all. Young people suffered more than most during the recent recession with a lack of employment opportunities leaving them drifting for a number of years.
“While many young people leaving school and university today are well placed to secure employment require further support to help them transition from the education arena to the working world, we have identified some basic life skills that will help build back confidence and self-esteem in this group of young people, help them to understand the value that they bring to society and can bring to the workplace. We hope that the 400 young people that benefit from the #YouthEmpowered programme will use it as a stepping stone towards a brighter future.”
Peter Davitt, CEO, FIT said: “We believe with #YouthEmpowered, Coca-Cola HBC is bringing something unique to the training arena. While there are a number of courses and skills training available to young people, these do not address the basic life skills and core business awareness skills that are a key factor in ensuring that a young person is successful. Many young people start courses but unfortunately drop out. I believe that if they first complete the #YouthEmpowered life skills training, they will have more confidence and resolve to stick with any further training and will be better positioned for future success. I commend Coca-Cola HBC for identifying a gap in what is available and look forward to working with the company as we bring this valuable training to young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”
Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland plans to hire some graduates after the programme as well as their employees providing hours of mentoring and support during the process. WeVolunteer, an employer-supported volunteering initiative, is being introduced internally as part of the #YouthEmpowered launch.