Council achieves Employability Champion Award
Belfast City Council has been hailed as an ‘Employability Champion’. The recognition was given at a showcase event in Belfast Waterfront – celebrating the Northern Ireland Impact Awards 2014.
The award was presented by Business in the Community to the organisation that best supports unemployed people. Belfast City Council was one of only three finalists and is delighted to have been recognised for its contribution to supporting the long-term unemployed across the city.
Councilor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of the Development Committee, said: “The council is committed to delivering employability initiatives for all, especially those furthest removed from the labour market. We will continue to provide opportunities at no additional cost to ratepayers and, I am delighted that the Council’s efforts have been endorsed by receipt of the Employability Champion Award.”
She added: “This along with the Council’s recent decision to become the first ‘living wage’ Council in Northern Ireland underlines our commitment to supporting the economy through responsible employment practices”.
Belfast City Council launched its £150 million Investment Programme in February 2012 to help boost the local economy, support businesses, create employment and training opportunities and provide important economic infrastructure.
The initiative was supported by all political parties on Belfast City Council, demonstrating collective city leadership to address the key economic, social and physical challenges facing the city. As part of this Investment Programme the Council identified the need to support people in all parts of Belfast to develop the skills and experience necessary to secure jobs, particularly young people who have been badly impacted by the economic downturn.
Belfast City Council highlighted the following achievements in the last two years:
· Delivered 601 job opportunities and provided 526 work experience placements;
· Ring-fenced five permanent administrative posts to the long term unemployed / economically inactive and provided a two week pre-employment programme for 40 long term unemployed / economically inactive participants to help them apply for the 5 ring fenced posts;
· Delivered a similar programme for seasonal cleansing operative positions, inviting 30 people to participate and helping them apply for five ring fenced posts.
· Provided 16 one year paid industrial placements for students at our universities and,
· Created 10 new Apprenticeships.
· Committed £300,000 to a bursary scheme to help those aged 16-24 into further education, training and employment and awarded approximately £93,000 to date to 432 young people.
· Part funded ESF funded programmes resulting in 1,551 people gaining recognised qualifications/accreditation and 604 people moving into employment.