13/06/2024

Minister Lyons Recognises Voluntary Sector's Employment Support

Communities Minister, Gordon Lyons, acknowledges the voluntary sector's role in supporting employment for those facing barriers at the 'Building an Inclusive Labour Market' conference.

The conference which was organised by NICVA, the representative body for the sector, took place at Stormont Hotel. It focused on increasing participation in the labour market, a key consideration for the Department for Communities (DfC) with linkages to anti-poverty, economic inactivity and disability employment.

Minister Lyons emphasised the strong collaboration between the Department and voluntary and community sector organizations, recognising the challenges they both encounter.

The Minister said: "My Department delivers a range of employability support programmes through the voluntary and community sector including Workable NI, Access to Work NI and Labour Market Partnerships.
News Image
"I value the services and supports delivered by the sector and the partnership and collaboration which allows greater expertise, reach and responsiveness to the needs of our customers.

"Initiatives such as our Labour Market Partnerships and the launch of the EPIC Futures NI Hub, help to channel this collaboration, direct our activity and target specific outcomes for those individuals facing additional barriers to employment.

"I recently announced that DfC funding for the voluntary and community sector will increase by £1.45million in the 2024-25 budget - an acknowledgement of work carried out across the wider Department. Whilst we would like to do more to meet our high ambitions for our labour market, the reality of constrained finances means we need to find new and innovative ways to achieve more for our customers with less.

"I am challenging my Department to find better ways to achieve outcomes against these pressures and it is reassuring to see that our voluntary and community sector is also looking inwards and challenging itself to do the same."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 July 2024
Infrastructure Minister Experiences Co Down Railway Heritage
Infrastructure Minister, John O'Dowd, has experienced the rich railway heritage from across the island of Ireland during a visit to Downpatrick and County Down Railway. The Downpatrick and County Down Railway is a private charitable organization that operates heritage steam and diesel train services on three miles of track in Downpatrick.
19 July 2024
Counterfeit Designer Clothing Seized In Dungiven
A 28-year-old man has been arrested following a search in Dungiven that uncovered counterfeit clothing, trainers, handbags and watches valued at over £500,000, representing a significant loss to the designers. The arrest was made and a substantial quantity of counterfeit goods was recovered following searches of a residential and business property.
02 July 2024
Economy Minister Launches New Employment Rights Consultation
Economy Minister, Conor Murphy, has announced the launch of new consultation on proposals to strengthen employment rights legislation, which will help deliver his good jobs agenda. One of the key objectives in the Department's economic vision is to increase the number of working age people in Good Jobs.
06 November 2008
Lottery Underpins Voluntary Sector
Big Lottery Fund has announced details of a multi-million pound investment to help develop and shape the future of Northern Ireland's community and voluntary sector. The Building Change Trust will invest £10 million to help community groups and larger voluntary organisations adapt and develop new ways of working.
28 September 2022
Hargey Concerned For Vulnerable People In Cost-Of-Living Crisis
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has expressed her concern over cost-of-living pressures on households with vulnerable people including those with disabilities, pensioners and children.