Ulster Unionist Councillor, Derek Hussey, has welcomed confirmation that core funding to the Bytes Project, which was under threat of being discontinued by the Department of Employment and Learning, has been re-instated.
The Derg Electoral Area Councillor said “On April 21, I was made aware of deep concern within the local Bytes Project that Core Funding, that matched Youth Council funding, was to be withdrawn forthwith by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL).
“Bytes have a local administrative base in Londonderry and their services impact throughout the entire North West area and indeed towards the South West, especially to young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) between the ages of 16 and 24.
“It struck me that such an impact on young citizens having training and improvement opportunities withdrawn was, to say the least, a very short-sighted approach coming from a Government Department supposedly dedicated to exactly such a purpose.
“Indeed the training and improvement experiences of the Project’s participants are those that prepare them for the potential employment opportunities that are being sought by other Government Departments.
“On April 22, I was able to present a Motion to the Environment and Regeneration Committee of Derry City and Strabane District Council that we write to the DEL Minister asking that his Department reconsider the withdrawal of Core Funding from this worthwhile Project.
“I acknowledge the agreement of fellow Council members in allowing this Motion to be brought at such short notice and then offering unanimous support in our approach to the Department.”
Councillor Hussey concluded by adding: “On May 14, I was delighted to be contacted by the Bytes Project informing me that they had received their justified reprieve on the Department’s original position and that DEL would be re-instating their matched funding, for the 2015/2016 period, to Youth Council support for the project.”