Over 60 young people from around Dublin took part in a Market Place event at ECO-UNESCO’s Greenhouse, 17 St. Andrew Street in Dublin 2 yesterday, Wednesday 16th April. All of those involved had participated in ECO-UNESCO’s Green Pathways programme, a youth employment initiative for under 25s who are long term unemployed.

Yesterday’s event was an opportunity for these people to highlight to invited guests, potential employers, green business experts and Minister Joan Burton how they had progressed through the programme and what their next step is. From March 2013 to February 2014, ECO-UNESCO ran three Green Pathways programmes for jobseekers. The programme aimed to up-skill young people for jobs in the community, youth and environmental related fields. Through the programme the young people not only took on FETAC accredited modules in Business Development, Professional Development and Sustainable Development but they also completed a valuable work placement experience which allowed them to gain real hands on experience in their chosen sector.

Yesterday showcased how far they had come since beginning the programme. Many now have secured full or part time employment, while many others have been offered places with further and higher educational institutes. Those who are still job seeking now feel much more confident that their updated CV and embellished skill-set will give them the edge in potential employers’ eyes.  The Green Pathway participants also had the opportunity to meet with the Minister who delivered the keynote address and complimented the participants on their progress and success. Following this was a panel discussion with green business leaders including Tim Duggan of Enrich, Mark Nolan of Green Careers Ireland, Anne Bedos of Rothar and Deirdre Macken of Lucy’s Lounge in Temple Bar who outlined how their grew their businesses and what they looked for in potential employees. Following the Market Place Event, a graduation ceremony was held for the participants where they received their FETAC awards and certificate of participation.

Commenting on the event, ECO-UNESCO’s National Director said, “This was a fantastic day that really celebrated all of these young peoples’ achievements. It has been amazing to trace their journey from long term unemployed to up-skilled jobseekers with an enhanced CV and solid work placement experience. I would like to congratulate all of our Green Pathways participants on their hard work and dedication throughout the programme. ECO-UNESCO will continue to provide them with ongoing support and advice and I am very confident that will be hugely successful in whatever their next step brings them.”