Local Sinn Fein Councillor, Colly Kelly, is urging young people in Derry to avail of the Education Maintenance Allowance (E.M.A.) which is still available to teenagers from low income households.
The benefit, which was scrapped by the coalition government is no longer available in England but after a review by the Northern Ireland Executive it was announced that it would continue to be available here.
“Many young people make a decision to leave education prematurely due to financial concerns. The introduction of the E.M.A. was designed to give young students the option of staying on in education and removing financial barriers which prevented them from doing so.
“It’s important to let students in Derry know that the E.M.A. is still available next year and that if their family circumstances fit the criteria, then they should apply.”
Colr. Kelly joined local students Caolán McGinley and Tiarnán Heaney outside the Central Library in Foyle Street earlier this week where they handed out information leaflets about E.M.A. to young people.
“For many young students in Derry the E.M.A. has made the difference between staying on at school to do A Levels and progressing to third level education or joining the dole. We were told two years ago that it was being done away with but thankfully now many students will still be able to avail of the £30 allowance during term time,” said Caolán.