An employability event, aimed at steering young people away from risk, has introduced exciting career options in the creative industries sector.
Over 90 young people aged 16-25, including some from Coalisland Training Services, Strabane AYE and Galbally Youth and Community Association, attended the cluster event at the Nerve Centre in Derry.
The event brought together projects that are funded through the International Fund for Ireland’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) and highlighted a range of opportunities within the creative sector.
Participants sampled bite-size sessions of what a career could look like across a wide range of disciplines including; special effects for movies, digital fabrication, animation, digital photography, studio engineer, robotics and brand building.
There are currently 32 PYDP projects across Northern Ireland and the border counties and specifically engages with young people aged 16-25 who are vulnerable to polarisation.
They may also have typically faced a range of complex issues including; substance abuse, homelessness, difficult family backgrounds, been in or close to criminal system, suffer from poor mental health issues or have not participated in society in a positive manner.
Speaking at the event, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Paddy Harte said: “In disadvantaged communities there is disillusionment and a sense that traditional youth efforts are not effective in addressing the complex and polarising issues that young people face. Our PYDP programme is designed for those who have been let down and left behind. It encourages them to look again at their life path and to better connect with their potential and with society. This is achieved through accredited and non-accredited courses, personal development and good relations training.
“Today’s event demonstrates that there are fantastic opportunities within the thriving creative industry. Thanks to the global success of TV programmes like Game of Thrones and other evolving areas like gaming – there are over 36,000 people employed locally in this sector.
“Whether these young people want to be the next Steven Spielberg, sound engineer, photographer or music management mogul – today shows that these ambitions are both achievable and real options for them.”
Participants at the event were also encouraged to engage with local colleges and organisations including the Nerve Centre, NWRC and The Princes Trust with a view to enrolling in a variety of courses within the creative sector.
In the last year, the Fund has invested more than £3.3m into 30 PYDP projects. Over 300 young people have taken part with 178 having completing accredited training.