Chris Lyttle said: “Everyone in this society has the potential to make a real difference. Youth unemployment and youth disengagement are major social and economic challenges in Northern Ireland as in many other parts of the world. Some young people need the job opportunities to succeed, but others face wider barriers.
“I warmly welcome these new investments in projects to assist those young people who are most disengaged from the labour market. These schemes will help to bring them closer to the labour market, and to encourage them to progress into further education or higher education.
“I am pleased that an Alliance Minister is making working with young people such a priority. In higher education, he has helped to freeze tuition fees for local students, increased local university places, and delivered a widening participation strategy. Apprenticeships and other forms of vocational training are being promoted. The Youth Employment Scheme is helping unemployed young people to gain work experience and subsidised employment. The NEETs Strategy and these new projects now directly assist those facing the greatest barriers.”