Carrickfergus Enterprise-led project delivers over 100 jobs

Over 100 people gained permanent employment through a Carrickfergus Enterprise strategically led work initiative.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:51 pm

The figure was released to mark the success of ‘Let’s Work, which was funded by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) under the Delivering Social Change framework.

The programme, which commenced in October 2019, received £1.68m to help address employment-related issues in areas of socio-economic need across Northern Ireland. It sought to widen access to jobs, improve skill levels and increase personal confidence with 104 participants taking up employment.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and many participating host businesses having to adapt their methods of working and some even closing their doors in 2020, 160 participants were placed and received on the job experience as well as access to a range of training relevant to their role. Participants from the top 10% or 20% socially disadvantaged areas including Larne, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Coleraine, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Moyle and Ballymoney entered into paid employment placements.

One of the host businesses, Abbey Upholsterers. Photo by Aaron McCracken

A total of 85 host businesses took part including representatives from manufacturing, IT, hospitality, health and social care, gaming design and construction. The placement opportunities were tailored and relevant to the chosen career path of each of the participants. Not only did 78% of participants remain in full time employment, over 438 qualifications were achieved. Additionally, many achieved training and mentoring to help them further their career prospects.

Carrickfergus Enterprise provided strategic leadership to the scheme.

Kelli McRoberts, manager of Carrickfergus Enterprise, said: “We are very proud of what the programme has achieved, especially with the challenges of the past year. A number of placements had to be put on hold, however, the programme went back to full capacity in August 2020, thanks to the flexibility and support from the host businesses.

“The aim was to support the participants to gain skills and experience that would lead them into employment, and we are pleased to say that 82% of participants have gained employment from Let’s Work.”

“The participant feedback has been really encouraging, and it is reassuring to know that the Let’s Work scheme has made really positive changes to people’s lives. We have found that through collaboration, we are creating positive changes in employment mindset.”

Employability specialists, Network Personnel were responsible for the operational delivery of training and placement provision.

Alex McKee, operations manager Network Personnel, said “It’s fantastic to finish the project on such a high note. We are so delighted that, despite the challenges and uncertainty presented by the pandemic, Let’s Work was a resounding success. We thoroughly enjoyed working with all stakeholders, from participants to host employers and the Project board. We would like to wish all participants the very best in their future careers. Network Personnel is honoured to have played a part in making their job goals a reality for them.”

To mark the success of the programme, a video showcasing the key highlights of the project was recently launched and is accessible to view online on Carrickfergus Enterprise’s social media channels and the TEO website.

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