First Steps - Youth Development Internship - Information for Young Jobseekers

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The First Steps programme will be closed to new applications from 1st December 2017.

A short period will be allowed to process applications received by then, but the final date for a participant to commence a placement will be 2nd January 2018

All First Steps placements will finish by Friday 30th March 2018.

The First Steps programme is being closed to facilitate the introduction of a new Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) which will commence in Quarter 2, 2018.

For more information on YESS, click here

What is the First Steps?

First Steps is one of the youth focused actions Ireland has committed to delivering under the Irish Youth Guarantee.

First Steps is a work placement scheme aimed at 18-24 year olds who are signing on the live register and who have limited or no experience of work, in particular those young people who would find it difficult to progress through candidate screening in a typical recruitment process.

First Steps provides participants with an opportunity to learn and develop various work skills and gain relevant experience in the workplace.

  • Placements are for 3 months with an option to extend to 6 or 9 months
  • Eligible jobseekers attend an interview and the host organisation selects the potential participants
  • A mentor is appointed to support the participant while on the placement
  • The participant and the host organisation sign and abide by a written Standard Agreement that outlines what you will do during the placement
  • The host organisation must complete a monthly compliance
  • Participants are provided with a reference when they finish the placement

How do I avail of a placement under the First Steps scheme?

Jobseekers will be selected by their local Intreo Centre.

To qualify for participation on First Steps, a candidate must be:

  • Aged between 18-24
  • Be unemployed for at least 12 months
  • If unemployed less than 12 months be considered by a case officer to face a significant barrier in his/her efforts to find work
  • Referred by a case officer

Qualifying payments for participation on First Steps include the following:

Jobseekers Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit, One Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker Transition Payment, Disability Allowance, Blind Person’s Pension and signing for Credits.

Time spent on Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMPs) will count towards eligibility for First Steps, provided the programme has been completed in full and the person was 18 years or older while on the programme and is in receipt of a payment immediately prior to the First Steps placement.

Participants on the programme will work closely with their case officer throughout this activation process, initially meeting with them to prepare a Personal Progression Plan (PPP), which will outline their immediate and long-term goals and activities to support them on their journey to full employment.

Casual Claimants

Casual claimants cannot participate in the First Steps scheme

Do I get paid?

  • You will receive an allowance from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection equivalent to your current Social Welfare allowance plus an additional €52.50 per week for the duration of the placement
  • This payment will be paid in arrears and it is expected that participants will receive the top-up allowance approximately 2 weeks after commencing on the programme.
  • All payments should be made via Electronic Fund Transfer into the participant’s bank account, where possible.
  • Host Organisations must not pay top-up contributions.
  • Out of pocket expenses - There is nothing to prevent a host organisation reimbursing a participant for expenses incurred as part of the placement. However, expenses should not be provided for normal activities such as travel to and from the participant’s base and normal expenditure incurred on a day-to-day basis

The European Commission is providing co-funding to the First Steps - YDI. First Steps - YDI is jointly backed by the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on an equal funding basis. For the period 2015 - 2017 the allocation from each of the ESF and YEI is €7.9m approx.

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Last modified:26/10/2017

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