An employability event aimed to steer vulnerable young people away from risk introduced exciting career options that exist within the creative industries sector.
Over 90 young people, aged 16-25 from both sides of the border attended the cluster event at the Nerve Centre in Derry.
The event brought together projects that are funded through the International Fund for Ireland’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) and highlighted a range of opportunities within the creative sector.
Participants sampled bite-size sessions of what a career could look like across a wide range of disciplines including; special effects for movies, digital fabrication, animation, digital photography, studio engineer, robotics and brand building.
There are currently 32 PYDP projects across Northern Ireland and the border counties and specifically engages with young people aged 16-25 who are vulnerable to polarisation and/or recruitment by criminal gangs. They will also have typically faced a range of complex issues including; substance abuse, homelessness, difficult family backgrounds, been in or close to criminal system, suffer from poor mental health issues and have not participated in society in a positive manner.
Speaking at the event International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Paddy Harte said; “In disadvantaged communities there is disillusionment and a sense that traditional youth efforts are not effective in addressing the complex and polarising issues that young people face. Our PYDP programme is designed for those who have been let down and left behind. It encourages them to look again at their life path and to better connect with their potential and with society. This is achieved through accredited and non-accredited courses, personal development and good relations training.
“Today’s event demonstrates that there are fantastic opportunities within the thriving creative industry. Thanks to the global success of TV programmes like Game of Thrones and other evolving areas like gaming – there are over 36,000 people employed locally in this sector.
“Whether these young people want to be the next Steven Spielberg, sound engineer, photographer or music management mogul – today shows that these ambitions are both achievable and real options for them.”
Participants at the event were also encouraged to engage with local colleges and organisations including the Nerve Centre, NWRC and The Princes Trust with a view to enrolling in a variety of courses within the creative sector.
In the last year, the Fund has invested more than £3.3m into 30 PYDP projects. Over 300 young people have taken part with 178 having completing accredited training, 134 completing good relations training and a number going on to further education and securing full time employment.
Olga Gallagher, Director of Programmes at Rural Development Council manages the delivery of the PYDP programme; “We understand that young people face pressures and can be affected by a range of serious issues such as addictions, family instability, low self-esteem, poor mental health and depression. These issues are unfortunately all too common and young people are at real risk of being drawn towards negative influences.
“Today’s event will in part help us tackle a range of issues head on and give participants knowledge and confidence to create a better life choices. The career opportunities on offer are certainly varied and our partnerships with other bodies will ensure that we can focus on getting people ‘employment ready’ for careers in this thriving sector.”
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884