Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary, Department for Employment and Learning recently awarded Douglas Durrant from Lisburn his certificate of achievement for successful completion of the S.T.E.P. “Skills Training for Employment Progression” training programme at a prestigious award ceremony in Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast.
Part funded by the European Social Fund and delivered by USEL (Ulster Supported Employment Ltd) the S.T.E.P. programme is specifically designed to address long-term unemployment and tackle barriers to employment by assisting people with disabilities and health related conditions move into the workplace.
The programme offered up to six months fully paid work placements with local employers. Participants to date have benefited from accredited training opportunities, skills acquisition, job match and the in-work support services necessary to gain and sustain paid employment. During the programme Douglas was based with Castlereagh Borough Council as an enforcement officer and upon completion was offered permanent employment with the council.
Sam Humphries, Chief Executive, USEL commented “The on the job work experience complemented with the opportunity to acquire accredited qualifications has proven to be a great success. Individuals who had previously faced significant barriers to finding a job have become more motivated, confident and self-aware of their own potential based on their experience and qualifications.”