"Young people, with great college qualifications, are struggling to find employment"

Innovation course for unemployed and underemployed graduates promoted by Louth LEO

"Young people, with great college qualifications, are struggling to find employment"

Presenting the Employment Alliance findings at Stormont: Thomas McEvoy (LEO Louth), Dr Conor Patterson (Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency), Fergus O’Dowd TD, Sinead Bradley MLA, Jim Wells MLA, Joan M

“It’s a familiar story. Young people, with great college qualifications, are struggling to find employment.  

No matter where you go, you hear the same story. They are unemployed or underemployed. They can’t find work. Or they’ve got a job with zero hours, low pay and no prospect of moving into their chosen career.”

Sarah Mallon of the Local Enterprise Office explained “Over the last few years, lots of young graduates had come to us, wanting to start their own business. Some had great ideas. Others were just frustrated that they had no control over their careers and wanted to do something proactive. And while entrepreneurship can be a brilliant career, it’s not for everyone. We asked ourselves, what can be done for these graduates to improve their prospects?”

The Local Enterprise Office in Louth consulted their counterparts in Meath, Newry and Mourne and discovered the same patterns. They suspected that graduates across Europe were experiencing the same challenges. They teamed up with partners in other European states to lead this new initiative. Through the Employment Alliance project funded by Erasmus+, one of the results that they delivered is the Innovation Invitation course.

This free online course can be taken by graduates who want to improve their employability or develop their entrepreneurial skills. There is also a classroom course designed for third level tutors to teach in the classroom as part of final year. The pilot programme has just been completed and a delegation from Louth, Meath, Newry and Mourne visited Stormont this week to present the findings to a high level cross border audience of government and educational representatives.  

“We are so pleased with the outcome of this project and know that it will be a great help to graduates. It’s really practical and designed for learning at your own pace. Each learning module includes a presentation and all the supporting materials and activities.  Topics include Understanding the Labour Market, Innovation, Mindset, Self-Employment, Fast Track Employment, Social and Life Long Innovation. The course will help graduates build a stronger career and achieve their true potential” Sarah concluded.

The free course is available online by visiting

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