Newry’s Young People Explore Alternative Career Option

May 19, 2014

Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency’s Work4uplus programme hosted a very successful Alternative Careers Event in the Canal Court Hotel on Wednesday 14th May, the purpose of which was to allow young people to explore Alternative Career Options.

The innovative format of the event gave young people the opportunity to engage with local businesses, employers and voluntary organisations in an informal, fun way.

Exhibitors were grouped into Zones focusing on the Arts, photography, media, martial arts and sports, enterprise, nutrition, health and beauty, entertainment and local training opportunities. In each, there was an experienced guide on hand to talk to the young people, give them advice, inspiration and encouragement.

Pauline Coghlan Work4uplus Programme Manager said: ‘This event has been successful I believe, because it has responded to what the young people we work with, say they wanted. They asked for an opportunity to meet real employers and to find out what they were looking for from their employees. They were also interested in hearing the real-life experiences of self-employed entrepreneurs. This event has been planned first and foremost around the needs of the young people. We hope to demonstrate to local young people, especially those who were losing hope, that regardless of the adversities they may have faced in the past, they can achieve great things in their lives if they are determined enough and have a positive attitude”.

Dr Conor Patterson, Chief Executive of the Enterprise Agency said “Our young people, all of them, are a resource we should properly value. However, unfortunately, many are being cast aside by a system which measures their value solely in terms of crude academic attainment scores. This overlooks the value of creativity and the importance of personality in the making of good employees and entrepreneurs. At this event we presented young people with the many alternative career options in which it is creativity, personality and hard work that make for success, more than it is exam grades.”

The Work4uplus Alternative Careers Event was organised by the Newry & Mourne Cooperative and Enterprise Agency with funding provided by the BIG Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out Empowering Young People’s Programme, in partnership with the Southern Education and Library Board, REACT and Bamardo’s.

The Work4uplus programme, which is now in its second year, helps young people who because of adversities in their lives have not been able to get into education, employment or training. Without support these young people are at risk of becoming long term unemployed.