29 May 2017

The Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD today launched the ‘Work to Learn Programme’ in Cobh, County Cork.

The Work to Learn Programme is a Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) based work experience initiative for young people, which provides them with the opportunity to gain important skills and develop as individuals.

The programme exposes participants on GYDPs to the world of work and the skills required to operate effectively in it, through a structured and supported process involving preparation, placement and reflection. It challenges the young person involved to undertake a paid part-time job with all the responsibilities that that entails.

In launching the programme, the Minister of State said, “I am a strong supporter of these types of programmes for young people, particularly those involved in Garda Youth Diversion Projects. For these young people it provides a fantastic opportunity for them to grow and develop their sense of self-worth and value.”

The operation of the programme is underpinned by cross community co-operation that requires the GYDP, youth services and the business community to work together to create opportunities for the young people involved. State Street, a US financial services company, and the Department of Justice and Equality, through the Irish Youth Justice Service, are financially supporting the programme.

Seven GYDPs nationwide have volunteered to participate in the programme, including ‘the Parish’ project in Cobh, County Cork.

There are 105 Garda Youth Diversion projects in place nationally. These projects are co-funded by the Department of Justice and Equality, through the Irish Youth Justice Service, and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.


Notes for Editors:

Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) are community based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour.
The GYDPs aim to bring about the conditions whereby the behavioural patterns of young people towards law and order can develop and mature through positive interventions and interaction with the project. The projects are particularly targeted at 12-17 year old “at risk” youths in communities where a specific need has been identified and where there is a risk of them remaining within the justice system.
The seven GYDP’s participating in the Work to Learn Programme are:

Compass project managed by Ossory Youth, Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny. 
Swan project managed by Swan Youth Service, Ballybough, Dublin 3.
JETS project managed by Swords Baldoyle Youth Service, Swords, Co Dublin.
Bridge Youth project managed by Kildare Youth Service, Celbridge, Co Kildare.
Acorn project managed by Youth Work Ireland Midlands, Edenderry, Co Offaly.
Feabhas (‘the Parish’) project managed by Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service Cobh, Co Cork.
Mallow project managed by Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service, Mallow, Co Cork.

The Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) operates as an executive office situated in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and is staffed by officials from both that Department and the Department of Justice and Equality. It has responsibility for leading and driving reform in the area of youth justice.

The remit of the IYJS is to improve the delivery of youth justice services and reduce youth offending. This challenge is met by focusing on diversion and rehabilitation involving greater use of community-based interventions and the promotion of initiatives to deal with young people who offend. Providing a safe and secure environment for detained children and supporting their early re-integration back into the community is also a key function.