Coca-Cola HBC today announced that it has launched its 2022 #YouthEmpowered programme in partnership with An Cosán and YouthAction Northern Ireland.
The bottling company explained that the#YouthEmpowered programme was designed 'to create a pathway to learning and leadership for over 2,000 young people across the island of Ireland'.
It seeks to bridge the gap in supports for women and disadvantaged youths aged 16 – 30 who are transitioning back to learning or onwards into the workplace, it added.
Minister for Social Protection and Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, joined Coca-Cola HBC at An Cosán’s community education centre in Dublin to celebrate the launch of the programme.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Humphreys, said, "This initiative aligns with Government’s Pathways to Work strategy which aims to remove barriers to employment through training and education.
“It provides a real and tangible example of the private sector working hand in hand with the voluntary sector to support the national shared objective of driving economic growth, promoting inclusion for all and supporting young people into sustainable employment.
This Year's Programme
According to Coca-Cola HBC, this year’s programme includes an accredited ‘Return to Learning’ training course in partnership with Ireland's largest community education organisation, An Cosán.
With CSO figures showing that over 60% of young women in Ireland remain unemployed, the #YouthEmpowered courses have been created to help participants build the skills needed to continue in further education or on to employment.
The course focuses on learning digital and personal development skills to give young women the tools they need to progress on their pathway to employment over an intensive six-week period.
Miles Karemacher, general manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, commented, “It’s a long-term commitment for all of us in Coca-Cola HBC to support young people to build the skills they need to secure future employment and, in the current challenging environment these supports have an even bigger role to play.”
Over the past six years we have invested €300,000 in youth development. Through our partnerships with An Cosán and YouthAction Northern Ireland, we’re further expanding the reach of our #YouthEmpowered supports. In 2022 we are keen to support those young people, particularly young women, who were significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic."
Now in its sixth year #YouthEmpowered has already provided free life and business skills training to more than 5,500 young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
'Return To Learning' Participant
Sarah Jane Deegan (26) from Dublin, who has just completed one of the six-week #YouthEmpowered Return to Learning courses, added, “I’ve been out of education for over three years, and I wanted to better my life for myself and my children. This was the first step.
“I loved going into class in the mornings and my kids loved going into Early Years, which was a fully funded support service run on-site, so I could just focus on the course work. The whole experience has really increased my confidence and with the skills I’ve learned over the past six weeks, I’m hoping now to start a Level 5 Business Administration with Digital Skills course in September.”