Half Time Talk scheme to tackle jobs deficit launches
Dublin GAA star Philly McMahon’s project aims to support young of Ballymun, Whitehall
Project is the brainchild of Dublin GAA footballer Philly McMahon who grew up in Ballymun. Photograph: Inpho
DCU president Brian MacCraith has said unemployment should be seen as a temporary status for any young person.
“We have to make a point that unemployment isn’t a destination in life or a function of where you live; it should be a temporary status on your Facebook page,” he said.
“The single biggest challenge of our time socially is making sure people get upskilled. The programme will empower young adults to find their place in the world and a purpose and to create a future of employment a future of personal satisfaction. It will help them to build a life of purpose, a future of employment, self-worth,” he said.
“It is well established that education is the pathway out of disadvantage, currently we have over 1300 access students at DCU – students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds,” he said.
Mr McCraith was speaking at the launch of HalfTimeTalk, a charitable organisation that aims to engage, educate and empower young people aged 17-25.
Initially, Half Time Talk will be introduced in the Ballymun and Whitehall areas, with plans to expand over the coming years.
The new venture is looking to assist local charities in combatting drug abuse and blockages to higher education pathways.
The project is the brainchild of Dublin GAA footballer Philly McMahon who grew up in Ballymun.
He said he wanted to use his expertise to talk to young people who live in communities that experience high levels of deprivation, unemployment and drug use.
“We have to help young people realise that there is no such thing as perfection and in my eyes, perfection is imperfection.”
“When young people make mistakes, we need to let them know they’re only human.In my eyes, perfection is imperfection and while you might have problems – there is a way around it and you can see your problems as opportunities,” he said.
“In Ballymun where I live, I constantly meet people with low self-esteem or low confidence because of mistakes they have made and that has an impact on them going into adulthood. While there is a lot of services for young people there’s a gap for those aged 18-25,” he said.
“That age group may not feel comfortable asking for help and I get a lot of people that age in my community coming to me talking about addiction or personal issues so hopefully this service will reach them,” he said.