The scheme will initially target 300 people for employability preparation, one to one mentoring from established employers, work experience and a guaranteed job interview at the end of their placement.
East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said: “I was delighted to support the Penna and Gems proposal for Rapid Impact to the Department for Employment and Learning.
“This is an innovative partnership between the statutory, private and community sector and the experience of Penna and Gems and the commitment of key employers will help improve access to employment for participants.
“I welcome the support of Alliance Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry MLA for the programme and am confident it can deliver positive employment outcomes in East Belfast.
“The decisive action being taken by the Minister for Employment & Learning to help secure and sustain employment for people who are out of work is much needed at this difficult time.
“The Youth Employment Scheme is a significant investment and the First Start initiative will also support 1,700 job opportunities for young people. Step Ahead 50+ will assist 1,100 people aged 50 and over with work experience in the community and voluntary sector.
“I am acutely aware of the difficulties faced by people as a result of unemployment and am committed to securing employment and training opportunities in my constituency.”
Youth Employment Scheme: