Employment Project in Belfast East
A Social Investment Fund project supporting Employment and Training recently celebrated their success by presenting awards at an event held in the Hilton Hotel Belfast Employment project on 18 January 2018.
Employment East received funding of £1.7 million to develop a revenue funded employability initiative programme across the Belfast East zone. The overall goal of the project is to put in place a programme of actions to improve access to employment and self-employment in East Belfast to target the most disadvantaged areas and people in East Belfast, support access to the labour market and progression within employment and leave East Belfast with an enhanced capacity to undertake such initiatives in future.
Whilst the programme is not yet finished the celebration event was to acknowledge the participants who have completed the programme. Across all elements of the programme 61 have completed it and of these 24 have moved into employment which represents a 39% success rate. We look forward to progressing more participants through the programme and delivering more employment outcomes.
At the Celebration Event in January all participants, employers and schools involved in the project were presented with awards in recognition of their involvement with the project.
Over 100 long term unemployed now in permanent employment in the Southern zone
A Social Investment Fund (SIF) project that helped over 100 long term unemployed people to get back into permanent work recently celebrated its success at an event held in Craigavon on 12 March 2018.
Pictured left to right are: Sorcha Mulgrew, Project Participant; Carla Campbell - Network Personnel; Kieran Fegan - Area Manager - Jobs and Benefits Office; Jonathan Lamont - The Executive Office; Hilary Singleton - Chairperson SIF Southern Zone Steering Group; Cathy McGarvey- Network Personnel; Sarah McClory - Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Sarah Travers – Compere; Abigail Telford – Project Participant; Noleen Burns – Project Participant.
The Work It project received £2.7 million from SIF to develop an employability project across the SIF Southern zone (which covers the local areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon, South Tyrone, Newry and Mourne).
The project targeted the long term unemployed, those with few qualifications and little work experience and people who had been made redundant and needed to be retrained. The project was designed to get them back into permanent work through appropriate work experience and training. Participants were provided with paid work on a temporary contract together with training, personal development and help with job search skills to secure a permanent job.
To date, 133 people have completed the programme. Of these 133, 107 – that is 80% - have moved into permanent employment. 352 qualifications were achieved by project participants. These are remarkable successes and a tribute to all the people involved: the project participants, Network Personnel who delivered the project and the team from Newry & Mourne District Council who managed delivery.
Not only has this project significantly benefitted those who took part but the participants also led on local community projects in order to give something back and benefit their wider communities. Not only did they develop skills and experience in managing and delivering the projects but local communities also benefitted from their efforts. Projects included the development of a sensory room for the Newry and District Gateway Club, family fun days and health promotion programmes in Lurgans Mourneview Community Centre and promotion of health and wellbeing through provision of care packs to the local food bank.
Below are pictures of some of the participants on their placements.
Over 120 long term unemployed now in permanent work in the South Belfast
Another Social Investment Fund project that helped over 120 long term unemployed people to get back into permanent work celebrated its success at an event in the Wellington Park Hotel on 15 March.
The Employability South employment and training project received £2.1 million from the Social Investment Fund to target long term unemployed people in South Belfast. Although South Belfast is often considered one of the most affluent quarters of the city, within its boundaries lie some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods including the Village, Sandy Row, the Markets, Donegall Pass and the Lower Ormeau, while smaller pockets of deprivation also exist in, for example, Taughmonagh, Ballynafeigh and Annadale.
All SIF projects target the most deprived areas in the nine SIF zones across Northern Ireland.
This project targeted residents in the most deprived areas of South Belfast who were either long term unemployed or under-employed to improve their employment opportunities. Delivery was through strategically placed hubs to ensure access was available to those most in need.
The project had 524 participants and all have completed. Of those participants who completed a work placement 50% (over 120 people) have moved into permanent employment; 50 of them with their placement provider. More than 1,000 accredited training courses were delivered for participants. These are great successes achieved by the participants, GEMS NI who delivered the project and the Greater Village Regeneration Trust who oversaw its delivery.
The Social Investment Fund is making an IMPACT!
Funding of £1.3million from the Social Investment Fund has supported a 584 sq.mt. extension of the Impact Training premises in Lanark Way, Belfast. The extended and refurbished premises was officially opened by Baroness May Blood and Dr Mark Browne on 29 March.
The extension has provided 8 additional classrooms with state of the art equipment. Those at the opening got an opportunity to see the young people at work in the classrooms and hear about the difference the new facilities has made to their learning experience.
The refurbishment has improved the two existing skills workshops, creating a more open and spacious area for the practical training. These areas support everything from welding to joinery. The young people have also taken on an entrepreneurial role and are using their training and skills to create garden benches and planters which they have an opportunity to then market and sell.
As a result of the investment the number of users has increased by 25% and a wider range and mix of skills training is being delivered in the refurbished workshops.
The layout also now allows Impact Training to zone the building for evening use, maximising its availability and scope. There are a number of evening groups using the space including cross community groups providing good relations programmes and fitness and wellbeing classes. These are attracting users from the local community beyond the young people engaged in training.