Farry welcomes new ‘Steps’ contractor for Ballymoney

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry, has welcomed the appointment of a new ‘Steps to Work’ Lead Contractor in Ballymoney.

A4e (Action for Employment) has been appointed in the Antrim contract area for the Department’s main adult return to work programme, which aims to assist unemployed and economically inactive people into sustained employment. Working with Employment Service Advisers in the Ballymoney Jobs & Benefits office area, A4e will deliver training and work experience provision throughout the contract area.

Speaking at the launch event, the Minister said: “A major part of my Department’s role in contributing to economic recovery is to help our customers address and develop skills which are needed by local employers. Steps to Work has an important role to play in this process, whether in addressing essential skills needs, providing short courses to learn new skills or offering work experience to develop and build on these skills.

“Moreover, an effective working partnership between Jobs & Benefits office staff and Lead Contractors is essential if we are to continue to provide such opportunities to our people.

“Working together to identify the needs of employers and developing opportunities for unemployed people to meet those needs can make a significant impact on the social and economic development of local areas. I have no doubt that the announcement will help make a real difference to communities in the Ballymoney area.”

‘Steps to Work’ is delivered by Employment Service Advisers throughout the Jobs & Benefits Office/JobCentre network in Northern Ireland and offers a flexible menu of training or work experience tailored to meet individuals’ needs. Since its introduction in September 2008, the programme has helped over 8,500 people find work.