21 job-seekers 'Step' into roles at Grant Thornton

Isaac Cosby and John Wilson, who have both been given job opportunities with Grant Thornton, with Elaine O’Neill (Ingeus) and Patrick Daly (Grant Thornton)

A SCHEME aimed at supporting long-term unemployed people into work has led to 21 job-seekers commencing a careers with Belfast-based accountancy firm Grant Thornton

The opportunities have come from a partnership between employability specialists Ingeus, which delivers the Department for Communities' adult employment programme Steps 2 Success (it helps unemployed people build the skills and experience required to find and keep a job) and the accountants.

“This is really great news for a group of people who were disadvantaged because having a job seemed an impossibility for them,” said Ingeus employer services manager Elaine O'Neill.

“The flexibility and vision of our colleagues at Grant Thornton, who were prepared to look at the wider life experiences of those on the Steps 2 Success programme, means now that a group of job-seekers are embarking on careers they never believed possible.”

Isaac Cosby (27) said not only did his appointment bring to an end several years of endlessly applying for jobs, but he has already been promoted and now works as part of the team producing year-end accounts for Grant Thornton clients.

“This is my first real job since leaving school. I've worked in a number of short-term roles for various employers. I have been trying to help myself but with no success. I completely lost my confidence – and unless you've been in that position, you'll never know how much constantly being rejected can knock you back.”

Working alongside Isaac is 30-year-old John Wilson from north Belfast, who has spent the past three years out of work and looking for a job.

“Being back in employment feels so good. I'm busy preparing financial information on behalf of our clients, which is a role I never believed I could do. But I do have an eye for detail and have lots of administrative experience, which are two of the key qualities I need.

"Grant Thornton is supporting me as I extend my knowledge, and I am extremely grateful to them, to my advisers at Ingeus, and to the Steps 2 Success programme for all the help they have given me. I'm embracing the opportunities I now have and getting my life back in order once again.”

Patrick Daly, who heads the recruitment process at Grant Thornton, said: “The extensive range of services we offer in Northern Ireland means we're always on the lookout for talented people to fill our vacancies.

“Working closely with Ingeus, we opened our doors to those who showed a real interest in careers in administration, and we were delighted with the outcome.”

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