Young people across the country can now sign up for free training and mentoring sessions to improve employability

Social activist and six-time All-Ireland winner Philly McMahon joined Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) for the launch of #YouthEmpowered 2019, an initiative developed by the company to provide free life and business skills training courses to young people across the island of Ireland. Celebrating its third year, the programme delivers both skills-based workshops with employers or the option of interactive eLearning courses, available for free at www.youthempowered.ie.

The programme is designed to support and empower 16 – 25 year olds who are not in education or employment across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Over the last two years, 1,300 young people received free training in financial literacy, project management and sales and business planning. With the ambition to engage a further 1,000 young people in 2019, #YouthEmpowered Digital Hub participants also embark on a journey of self-development; learning fundamental relationship skills and how to communicate more effectively in life and in work. 

Famed for his sporting prowess, #YouthEmpowered ambassador Philly McMahon is a hugely successful young businessman off the field and an advocate for the importance of social change and the rehabilitation of young people struggling to find their way.

I’m delighted to support Coca‑Cola HBC in their efforts to encourage young people back to education and employment. The pursuit of continuous learning is not a given for everyone. For some it’s circumstantial, but for others it’s a lack of confidence, a lack of belief in their own ability. A free training and mentorship programme like this could really make a difference to school-leavers and job-seekers all over Ireland, giving them the boost they need to turn a new page and change their life direction. I’m looking forward to being part of their journey Philly McMahon, Dublin GAA Star

 

Philly was joined by Eoghan Quigg as ambassador for the 2019 programme. Now 26 years old, Eoghan Quigg was just 16 when he appeared on X Factor back in 2008. Finishing in third-place behind the winner Alexandra Burke, the Derry talent needed some time to adjust to life after the live shows. He made the difficult decision to quit the music industry and focus on his education.

I’m delighted to be here today to launch the 2019 Youth Empowered programme, but also to have a chance to meet some of last year’s participants. I can really relate to a lot of their stories. That feeling of insecurity and uncertainty in the road ahead; sometimes too proud to put your hand up for help, but in need of some guidance. I commend Coca‑Cola HBC and YouthAction NI for their investment in this free training and mentorship programme which will really make a difference to school-leavers and job-seekers in Northern Ireland. It will give young people the confidence and support they need to fulfil their potential, and I’m really looking forward to being part of their journey! Eoghan Quigg, Former X Factor Contestant

In Ireland, as demonstrated by the recent HEA Analysis of Completion Rates in Irish Higher Education, disadvantaged socio-economic groups are less likely to complete college than their peers, with developments in technology and a growing economy demanding more diversity in self-directed learning and training options. Acknowledged by Irish Government through initiatives such as the ‘Action Plan for Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Ireland 2016-2020’.

 

In Northern Ireland, the draft Industrial Strategy for NI (2017) sets out the skills and strategies required to contribute to the 2016 – 2026 Programme for Government Outcome of having more people working in better jobs. Securing our Success: The Northern Ireland Strategy on Apprenticeships and the European Structural Fund Priority 1 sets out to tackle youth unemployment and build the skills and capabilities of the youth workforce. The Coca‑Cola HBC #YouthEmpowered programme remains committed to giving young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland a helping hand to develop work-ready skills for life.

I really enjoyed the opportunity today to meet these young people who have so much potential. With increased competition for talent, and evolving needs for new and different skillsets, it has never been more important for us, as a business, to evolve the training eco-system and play a leadership role in developing the next generation. Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland

"In addition to our commitment to developing the future leaders, we also feel a responsibility to be change-makers within the community. Our #YouthEmpowered programme strives to achieve both objectives. Now in its third year, #YouthEmpowered offers a stepping stone to the one in ten unemployed young people on the island of Ireland, and we’re really proud to be able to cultivate real life skills that can further unlock their potential."

 

In addition to the Digital Hub courses, which provide the flexibility of learning anywhere at any time, free skills-based workshops will be delivered in locations across the island of Ireland in partnership with YouthAction Northern Ireland, and Youth Work Ireland.

 

At YouthAction Northern Ireland, we are delighted to be a partner of Coca‑Cola HBC in this important youth initiative. Unemployment can be devastating for young people, affecting their mental health, family relationships and quality of life. This creative approach of bringing youth work and employers together will certainly build skills for living, learning and work and help young people successfully transition into employment of their choice. June Trimble MBE, Chief Executive of YouthAction Northern Ireland

Over 40 employees from Coca‑Cola HBC will once again lend their support to the programme in 2019 as #YouthEmpowered Youth Coaches, sharing personal experiences about their own journey to meaningful employment, career guidance and business insights.

 

For more information, or to register for the 2019 #YouthEmpowered programme simply visit www.youthempowered.ie. Participation is free, with users invited to opt in at any stage throughout the year.