13/04/2007

Getting east Belfast back to work

A unique East Belfast based initiative is aiming to get the jobless back into the workplace.

Funded by Belfast City Council, the Health Learning Works programme targets those who are socially excluded, such as the long-term unemployed, and those with long-term illnesses, as well as mothers wanting to return to work.

To date 16 people have gained employment through the scheme, but now even more are set to benefit thanks to extra funding from the Department of Social Development.

It is hoped that the next round of the project will get underway in mid May with potential candidates being urged to sign up as soon as possible.

The scheme consists of a six-week programme of class based mentoring provision and a seven-week work placement. Posts with the South and East Belfast Trust include domestics, home helps, clerical and support services.

Councillor Michael Browne, Chairman of Belfast City Council's Economic Development Sub-Committee, praised the project for "making a real difference to people's lives".

"We are delighted that additional funding has been granted to extend this Health Learning Works scheme which is offering opportunities for local people to enter a professional career in the NHS or social care," he added.

Health Learning Works is currently open to individuals who are 18 years old or older, live in South or East Belfast, are unemployed and have been out of work for more than 6 months.

If you would like to find out more about this initiative please contact George Newell at East Belfast Community Education Centre on 028 90533153 or emailhealthlearningworks@yahoo.co.uk

(JM)


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