Thursday, 23 June 2016

£2.2million investment by Executive is providing valuable training and employment experience for South Belfast – Ross

Junior Minister Alastair Ross today attended a celebratory event to recognise the achievements of the Employability South project in its first year of delivery.

The Employability South project aims to improve employability and create meaningful pathways to employment by providing valuable training and paid work placements to the long term unemployed in South Belfast. Funding of £2.2 million was provided by the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Social Investment Fund, for the delivery of the project.

Speaking at the event, Junior Minister Alastair Ross said: “Supporting people to enhance their skills and expertise so they are better placed to secure employment has been an important issue in communities for a long time.  I am therefore pleased that the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Social Investment Fund, was able to provide £2.2million of financial support for this very worthwhile project which will directly benefit the people of South Belfast. 

“The Social Investment Fund was introduced to allow communities to bring about change for themselves. It is focused on working together to empower communities to identify their own needs and develop proposals to address them. The Employability South project is a perfect example of that. A community coming together to design something which will really help those who need support to improve their life chances.

“Already over 120 people have benefitted from this project. Sixteen have secured employment, some are continuing their placements and others have gained recognised qualifications thereby improving their employment prospects. That really is delivering social change.”

Greater Village Regeneration Trust is managing the project which is being delivered by GEMS NI. The project will engage 375 participants and will continue until March 2018.

The Minister concluded: “I want to congratulate all those involved in this worthy project. Greater Village Regeneration Trust and GEMS NI for delivery of the project, employers for their contribution in offering placements to local people and participants who have taken up the opportunity to make a difference to their lives.”

Notes to editors:

1. Media enquiries to The Executive Office press office on 028 9037 8201. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

2. Delivering Social Change is the Northern Ireland Executive’s framework, set up to tackle poverty and social exclusion. It aims to deliver a sustained reduction in poverty and associated issues across all ages and to improve children and young people’s health, well-being and life opportunities thereby breaking the long term cycle of multi-generational problems. For more information go to:

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