Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., welcomes the graduation of 24 young jobseekers who participated in the Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme at Collins Barracks, Cork

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., today (Thursday 16th August 2018) welcomed the graduation of 24 young jobseekers who participated in the Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme at Collins Barracks, Cork. The 24 participants, 23 from Cork and 1 from Dublin, were presented with their graduation certificates at today’s ceremony which was presided over by the General Officer Commanding No. 1 Brigade, Brigadier General Patrick Flynn. Also in attendance was Deputy Chief of Staff Kieran Brennan.

The scheme is an innovative joint initiative between the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, the Department of Social Protection and the Education and Training Boards Ireland.  The collaboration stems from a Government commitment in the White Paper on Defence, 2015 and in the Programme for Government.  The scheme is co-funded by the Irish Government, the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014 – 2020.

This voluntary scheme is targeted at 18-24 year olds who are on the Live Register.  It aims to provide participants with the knowledge and skills that will assist them to participate fully in society, and enhance their capacity to pursue employment, work experience or further educational opportunities.  A central element throughout the programme is to enhance the self-confidence and personal drive of the participants by building their training and physical capability.

Minister Kehoe extends his warmest congratulations to all of the participants for the commitment they have made. He states that “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.”

In recognising the role of the Defence Forces, Minister Kehoe said “The Defence Forces has an exceptional record in creating leaders and decision makers. The Employment Support Scheme has provided the benefit of that experience; this, coupled with the education component, will set the participants apart from other jobseekers” 
Brigadier General Flynn congratulated each participant on their achievement in successfully completing the programme and stated that it is a milestone in their professional and personal development.




Note for Editors

The Defence Forces Employment Support Scheme arises from commitments given in the White Paper on Defence which was published in 2015 and the Programme for Government.


The objective of the scheme is to help develop a path to economic independence for unemployed participants, aged between 18 and 24, who are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of being able to develop their personal well-being and capacity with a view to advancing their job prospects.  The scheme encompasses 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. 

The Ballymun Job Centre assisted in the Initiative by working with the participants on personal development aspects of the programme.

This programme, based at Collins Barracks, Cork and involving 24 participants commenced in June of this year and ran for 10 weeks. The next programme for up to 30 participants is planned to commence in October based in the Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh, Co. Kildare.