Northern Ireland news

£20m skills scheme has created 300 jobs and training opportunities, says Deirdre Hargey

Deirdre Hargey said the initiative has already funded 202 new three-year posts across the voluntary and community, heritage, arts and sports sectors
Jonathan McCambridge, PA

A £20 million Employment and Skills Initiative has created more than 300 jobs and training opportunities, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said.

Today she met a number of organisations which have benefitted from the scheme.

She said 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.

Ms Hargey visited The Designerie, a social enterprise which supports artists in Bushmills, Co Antrim, followed by a visit to Destined in Derry, which supports people with learning disabilities.

She then visited Employers for Childcare in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

All the organisations were successful in their application through the scheme.

She 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 and 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 £20 million.

“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, was designed to support job creation and skills development.

Northern Ireland news