Minister Doherty Salutes Graduates of the Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme at Gormanston Army Camp

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Minister Doherty Salutes Graduates of the Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme at Gormanston Army Camp


Friday, 16 August, 2019

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., visited Gormanston Army Camp today, to mark the graduation of 24 young jobseekers who participated on the Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme, and presented them with certificates. The scheme is designed to provide skills for life for young men and women aged between 18 and 24 years to assist them towards entering the workforce or pursuing further education by building their knowledge, skills and self-belief. 

Addressing the 24 successful participants, Minister Doherty said:

“What I particularly love about this course is that it not only involves learning practical skills but it also addresses inner needs. Sometimes, to find work, we also need to find ourselves. This course, with its added emphasis on building confidence and resilience brings that added extra to the table."

“The training involved, along with the other activities undertaken during the course of these last 10 weeks, has been very varied. By engaging in these activities the participants have all shown a shared commitment and desire for self-development, self-belief and personal growth.    They have challenged themselves throughout their time on the scheme, and in doing so have demonstrated great endurance and a resilience that will stand to them in the future.”

Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr Paul Kehoe today extended his warmest congratulations to all of the participants. He stated “they have all been on a fantastic journey of learning and self-discovery. They, together with their families and friends, can be justifiably proud of their learning, training and physical achievements.”

The scheme is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union’s European Social Fund under Ireland’s European Structural and Investment funds Programme 2014-2020.

Course participants were drawn from jobseekers living in Counties Louth, Meath and Dublin aged between 18-24 years and who had been facing barriers to finding work. The Employment Support Scheme provided the participants with a training programme of 10 weeks duration, consisting of 5 weeks of military-orientated training by the Defence Forces, interspersed with 5 weeks of education-orientated training. 

A central element throughout the Programme was to enhance the self-confidence and personal drive of the participants by building their training and physical capability. While improving personal physical fitness and resilience over the programme, the participants also received the following wide ranging awards:

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certificate from DF School of Catering
  • A variety of computer and ECDL qualifications from DDLETB Training
  • SOLAS Safe Pass
  • Basic Medical Training Certificate
  • Manual Handling Training Certificate
  • Certificate of Participation and Reference from the Defence Forces and Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection


The training and development programme is the sixth iteration of the innovative scheme which started in 2016. To date over 120 young people have benefited from the scheme with programmes delivered in the Defence Forces army barracks in Limerick, Cork, the Curragh and Gormanston Camp previously.

The Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme stems from a 2015 Government commitment that brings together a number of public services working together. This novel initiative seeks to find new ways of engaging with young people to help them start building positive career options. This particular scheme was led by the Defence Forces and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, with the co-operation of the Department of Defence and the Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) Training Centre Baldoyle. The Ballymun Job Centre was also involved through its work with the participants on personal development aspects of the Programme.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Last modified:16/08/2019