Business

Belfast's young people supported to develop their future careers

Liam Grant (De La Salle College) and Tammy Lee Larkin (Mercy College) at the launch of Belfast City Council’s career development programme, which will support more than 4,000 post-primary school pupils in Belfast to get on the road to career success over the next two years. Picture: Michael Cooper

A NEW initiative is set to support more than 4,000 young people in Belfast to get on the road to career success over the next two years.

Belfast City Council's career development programme will provide post-primary school pupils with opportunities to experience the world of work, support them to make informed career choices and enable them to develop skills in innovation, creativity and enterprise.

The programme (details at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/employability) will give young people at risk of not attaining five GCSE grades additional support, including mentoring.

A range of workshops and an enterprise competition will help to develop business, creative and innovation skills and alternative career pathways including self-employment and vocational routes, such as apprenticeships will be highlighted.

Employers in key growth sectors including the creative industries and financial services will also promote career opportunities.

Councillor Mairéad O'Donnell, chair of the Council's city growth and regeneration committee said: “We're focused on creating quality employment for young people through our Belfast Agenda. We want pupils, parents and teachers to be better informed about the growth sectors in Belfast, where employment opportunities exist, and the best career pathways to take.

“Educational attainment is obviously important for career success, but so too is an awareness of the world of work, real life work experience and the opportunity to engage with employers and role models. The career development programme will provide that vital wrap around support to help our young people succeed.”

Darren Nixon, senior education consultant and partner with eye4education said: “We're contacting schools to offer pupils the chance to register for the programme.

"We're excited to welcome our first intake of students, as we know that this level of support is exactly what's needed to give pupils the motivation and encouragement they need at this vital stage of development.”

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