200 people in post thanks to Employment and Skills Initiative – Hargey

Date published: 09 August 2022

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today met with a number of organisations who benefitted from her Department’s £20million Employment and Skills Initiative which has created over 300 jobs and training opportunities.

200 people in post thanks to Employment and Skills Initiative – Hargey
200 people in post thanks to Employment and Skills Initiative – Hargey

The initiative has already funded 202 new three-year posts across the voluntary and community, heritage, arts and sports sectors and by September a further 100 new placements across the creative sector will have been created.

The Minister visited The Designerie, a social enterprise which supports artists in Bushmills followed by a visit to Destined in Derry, which supports people with learning disabilities and then onto Employers for Childcare in Lisburn, all of whom were successful in their application through the scheme.

Representatives from each of the organisations told the Minister about the positive impact the funding has had on the services they provide to the communities they support.  The Minister also had the opportunity to meet and speak with new employees who are being supported through the scheme.

 Minister Hargey said:

“I am delighted to hear first-hand how funding from my Department is supporting the creation of new posts and skills development across the Voluntary & Community, Sports, Arts, Heritage and Creative Industries sectors.  There is a clear need for support and investment in these sectors and this is evidenced by the high volume of applications through this scheme and that is why I doubled the funding of this programme to £20million.

 “This initiative is timely, not only will it help the sectors recover and grow following the pandemic, but it also provides employment and training opportunities for individuals and support to much needed organisations within our community as they are faced with a range of challenges as a direct result of the cost of living crisis.

 “These sectors play a huge part in all our lives, they are vital to the health and wellbeing of society and also to the growth of our local economy and I am pleased that my department has been able to provide this much needed financial support.”

 The scheme, launched in January of this year, was designed to support job creation and skills development in the Arts, Voluntary and Community, Sports, Heritage and Creative Industries sectors.

Recruitment is well underway, with:

  • 72 jobs being created in the Arts sector;
  • 27 jobs being created in the Sports sector;
  • 27 jobs being created in the Heritage sector;
  • 76 jobs being created in the Voluntary & Community sector;
  • 100 placements in the Creative Industries sector.

It is currently anticipated that all new employees will be in place by the end of October.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo captions: 
    Designerie Bushmills - Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured on a visit to The Designerie in Bushmills who received funding from the Department's Employment & Skills initiative to employ Marketing Officer, Rachel Finlay (also pictured). 

    Destined Derry - Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured on a visit to Destined in Derry who received funding from the Department's Employment & Skills Initiative.  The Minister (left) is pictured with (centre) Project Officer Charlene Keenan and (right) Martha Coyle who is a member of Destined and is a tour guide at the Railway Museum. The Employment & Skills Initiative funds the salaries and associated costs of new entry level employment opportunities and host organisations’ support costs in not-for-profit organisations for those of working age (18 years+). The scheme also aims to provide funding for training and upskilling of existing employees in key roles within the affected sectors, in an effort to incentivise staff to remain in and develop their career in these sectors and assist the sectors to fully recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
  2. Information on the original announcement of the Employment & Skills Initiative is available
  3. Information on the announcement of additional funding to the Employment & Skills Initiative 
  4. Grant funding for this Initiative was disbursed through four trusted delivery bodies, namely Future Screens NI (Arts sector), The Rank Foundation (Sports and Voluntary & Community sectors), the Heritage Fund (Heritage sector) and BBC NI in partnership with NI Screen (Creative Industries sector).
  5. The Designerie is an enterprise that promotes creativity and supports talented and thriving artists and employed a Digital Marketing Officer through the scheme.
  6. Destined, who were able to employ a Project Officer through the scheme, is a voluntary charitable organisation that seeks to address the needs of people with learning disabilities in a whole life context.
  7. Employers for Childcare is a Social Enterprise and a registered charity. It aims to make it easier for parents with dependent children to get into work and to stay in work. They were able to employ a Sensory Assistant through funding from the scheme
  8. Press enquiries to DfC Press Office: 
  9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  10. Follow us on twitter @CommunitiesNI

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