With the support of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) and the Dept of Social Protection, a group of young people has been given a unique opportunity and the needed motivation to get their driving test behind
them! Its success has resulted in funding for two new programmes in Graiguenamanagh and Urlingford for ‘Driving Ambitions 2014’. Driving Ambitions is a new programme that aims to engage with young unemployed people aged 18 – 25 yrs. from rural areas. It offers four driver theory test sessions and ten driving lessons at no cost. Equally important, the participants build self-accomplishment and confidence as they progress. Of the eight participants who started Driving Ambitions, all have successfully completely their theory test and now completing their driving lessons. As a result of Driving Ambition’s one to one support, two participants have secured employment and three more have returned to further education.

As an added bonus, Driving Ambitions incorporates two very successful programmes: ‘Benefit 4 IT’ and ‘Passport to Employment’. These programmes cover a range of essential skills from basic computer knowledge to career development. On completion of the project, participants will be given a job placement to gain skills and confidence in preparation for employment.

KLP development officer, Alison Allan coordinates the KLP Youth programme in Kilkenny. Alison said, “I am very excited about the Driving Ambitions programme and the results are paying off with students passing their theory test with high scores. There is a recognisable growth in confidence as they realise their accomplishments”.

One participant said, “I passed my theory test 40 out of 40 and I am absolutely buzzing.” I can’t believe it and its all down to KLP.”