Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, launched the £3.3m Community Work Programme (CWP) in Shantallow on Wednesday.
The CWP is aimed at helping those aged between 18 and 24 and those who are long-term unemployed to gain new skills and employment.
“I am delighted that this excellent initiative is being funded by the Social Investment Fund through my department,” said Mr. McGuinness.
“We have allocated £9.5 million to the Derry area and programmes such as this are what is needed to get our young people into meaningful employment as we continue to ensure that we regenerate this city and provide a future for the youth of these areas.”
The launch took place at the Northside Centre in the office of Greater Shantallow Community Partnership (GSAP) who will manage the initiative.
GSAP Chair, Peter McDonald, described the CWP as great opportunity for local people to gain valuable qualifications.
“The CWP when finalised will be delivered by GSAP on behalf of the local Social Investment Fund Steering Group.
“This is a £3.3 million community employment project is targeted particularly but not exclusively at recently unemployed young people in the 18-24 age group as part of the NEETS programme.
“Other groups that will benefit are long term unemployed, working poor, the economically inactive, and those with no or low qualifications as well as those living in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas.
“The CWP will provide opportunities for a minimum of 100 individuals who will receive mentoring, educational support and related skills training and development programmes. These will be in a number of employment disciplines based on the individual’s needs and qualifications. The accredited training will be provided in identified community work programmes e.g. Certificate of Safety Register and Horticultural courses where there is a need for environmental improvement programmes.
“The project will also support improvement schemes in areas of dereliction, poor environmental appearance and anti-community hotspots. It will provide individuals and communities with the tools of individual and community empowerment to enable change required to move out of deprivation.
“I welcome the presence of the deputy First Minister which signifies the importance that he places on investment in community.”