Four Pioneering Non-Profit Organisations Funded

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By Chamber Press Office, 25 May 2023

Four Pioneering Non-Profit Organisations Funded to Deliver Green and Digital Skills to Tackle Youth Unemployment in Dublin

Four pioneering non-profit organisations will tackle youth unemployment in Dublin’s most disadvantaged areas under Rethink Ireland’s €763,000 Urban Uplift Fund. The organisations were announced today and will deliver innovative projects working to increase youth employment and youth employability in the green and digital sectors. The Urban Uplift Fund will support up to 200 marginalised young adults (aged 18-30 years) in learning transformative skills for the green and digital economies, helping to give them back their futures.

The four non-profit organisations announced today under the two-year Urban Uplift Fund are: ECO-UNESCO, delivering employability programmes to young people with a focus on the green sector and sustainable development; An Cosán’s Workability Programme, focused on improving digital skills of women from disadvantaged areas; NOW Employment and Training Services, supporting people with intellectual disabilities into jobs with a future; and Generation Ireland, with a focus on opportunities for young adults in Ireland’s digital and green sectors.

With support from JPMorgan Chase, IBM and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Account Fund, Rethink Ireland created the Urban Uplift Fund to address barriers to unemployment. That work begins with these four innovative projects in Dublin that will work to secure employment and/or apprenticeships in the green and/or digital economies for young adults at risk of permanent exclusion and enhance their full participation in society. Rethink Ireland provides cash grants and business supports to charities and social enterprises working in Irish communities across the country.

As part of the Fund, up to 120 marginalised young adults will be empowered into jobs, apprenticeships or work experience programmes, with up to 75 young adults enabled to complete certified training and up to 80 to progress on to further education.

Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD commented: “We are delighted to partner with Rethink Ireland to bring the Urban Uplift Fund to Dublin’s most disadvantaged areas, focusing on the central role of social innovation in sustainable community development. The four pioneering organisations announced today have been awarded to address the serious problem of youth unemployment in our communities based on impactful employment programmes based on upskilling for the green and digital economies. By working with Rethink Ireland we are enabled to support these non-profit organisations as part of the solution.”

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland said: “Critically, this Fund will empower marginalised young adults who are at risk of permanent exclusion from society by working to remove the persistent barriers to employment that they face. The green and digital sectors are the employers of the future and we are determined that no one will be left behind. The Urban Uplift Fund focuses on providing opportunities in these sectors, making a step change in the right direction for young adults in Dublin’s most marginalised communities.”

She added: “Progress made to date on reducing unemployment rates in Ireland has not benefited everyone equally and with the onset and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, these inequalities have only increased. The need for this Fund is great.”

Marc Hussey, Senior Country Officer and Head of Banking in Ireland for J.P. Morgan Bank SE, commented: “Ensuring that young people are equipped with the skills and experiences they need to thrive in the jobs of today and tomorrow is key to creating a more inclusive economy. JPMorgan Chase is committed to addressing barriers to opportunity and economic mobility, and we’re thrilled to partner with Rethink Ireland in these efforts.”

Deborah Threadgold, IBM Ireland Country General Manager, commented: IBM is proud to support the Urban Uplift Fund to help marginalised youth reach their potential. Supporting people through training and development has always been at heart of everything we do in the local community and part of our commitment to help upskill 30 million people globally by 2030.

Participating in programmes like this and getting access to resources like SkillsBuild not only enables these young people to develop the skills needed by the digital and green sectors in Ireland, but also opens up new pathways to career opportunities, now and into the future.”


Notes to editors: Urban Uplift Fund Awardee Information


ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s leading youth environmental education organisation and works to empower and engage young people to conserve and protect our environment and take climate action. Their vision is a sustainable world where young people are actively engaged in protecting the environment. They work with over 10,000 young people every year through their range of programmes and services to inspire, educate, empower and support them to act.

An Cosán

An Cosán’s WorkAbility – Providing Transferable Skills for Flexible Employment programme is addressing the issues of low education and high unemployment of young adults living in Tallaght West, Cherry Orchard / Ballyfermot and Dublin South Inner City. Ireland’s largest community education organisation, An Cosán, has empowered over 20,000 adult learners since 1986. Its holistic approach encompasses adult education, career coaching, early years’ education, family support, and 1:1 mentoring and counselling.

Now Employment and Training Services

NOW Group is an award-winning social enterprise.  Their mission is to support people with learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, and neurodiverse conditions into jobs with a future. Their co-designed services are participant-led and employer-focused.  This project will deliver pioneering approaches and academies which have evolved to meet participant aspirations and labour market challenges and will focus on supporting young people from Dublin Inner City into employment.

Generation Ireland

Generation Ireland is an Irish charity that prepares, places, and supports people into life-changing careers that would otherwise be inaccessible. They do this via a unique model that combines free, online profession-specific bootcamp training, with extensive mentorship support and active matchmaking to roles at employer partners. Founded in 2020, Generation Ireland have since supported a diverse group of approximately 300 learners, each facing significant barriers to employment, with 70% job outcomes for their graduates.

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