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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, has said he was delighted to launch the ‘Work to Learn Programme’ in Cobh yesterday. The Work to Learn Programme is a work experience initiative for young people who are participating in Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs).

“Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) have been operating since 1963 and there are now 105 projects nationwide. GYDPs have been very successful in working in communities with young people who were involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or crime. The Work to Learn Programme is a very worthwhile project and I am very pleased to lend my support to it. The Programme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to grow and develop their self-worth, while gaining valuable life experience and professional skills.

“’The Parish’ project in Cobh was one of the seven GYDPs which volunteered to participate in the Work to Learn Programme. Participants are introduced to the world of work, through a structured and supported process involving preparation, placement and reflection. It challenges the young people involved to undertake a paid part-time job with all the connected responsibilities. 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.

“As a former second level teacher, career guidance counsellor and home school liaison officer, I am aware of the importance of supporting and helping young people. As a consequence, I am delighted to support the Work to Learn Programme which has great potential in terms of the lasting effect that it can have on the lives of the young people involved”, Minister Stanton concluded.