New YMCA Dublin service in support of migrant community

by Rachel Cunningham
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YMCA Dublin has launched a new phase of its Réidh service, Réidh Careers, to focus on supporting the migrant community.

Following a successful two-year pilot phase, the service, which was originally designed to provide career support to young people in Dublin, is expanding to provide a dedicated service to prepare migrants, refugees and incoming asylum seekers for employment in Ireland.

Réidh, which is supported by JP MORGAN and LinkedIn, launched in 2022 to cater to individuals aged 16-30 who are unemployed, underemployed or have left school early.

During the initial pilot phase, it was noted that the majority of demand for this service was from participants who were newcomers to Ireland, many of whom were vulnerable and experiencing social exclusion. 

YMCA Dublin identified the need for providing pre-employment opportunities and literacy and community integration, as participants were facing challenges such as navigating Irish public systems, legal barriers and issues related to the transferability of qualifications.

The service will consist of a six-week thematic programme cycle, themed around skill gaps in the current labour market, to support newcomers to bridge the gap to employment, with career guidance support, training, work placements and skill development.

“During the initial pilot phase of our Réidh service, we expected internal referrals from our other youth services but found that the majority of participants were external and “newcomers” to Ireland; most of whom are asylum seekers,” said Leanne Young, Head of Community & Youth Services. 

“During this time, we identified the urgent social needs of those seeking refuge in Ireland, with many asylum seekers not yet permitted to work, but had a significant appetite to engage in workplace readiness programmes, further education, upskilling and work experience. 

“This expansion of our Réidh service aims to build employability, facilitate inclusion in Irish society, and nurture a sense of stability, hope, and preparedness for the future for these individuals during a vulnerable and uncertain time.”

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