Belfast Telegraph

JobFit training scheme 'works well'

A training programme to help get the unemployed back to work is giving people the skills and confidence to plan for the future, it has been claimed.

Young out-of-work people who are qualified to Junior Certificate level or below can join the JobFit scheme, which includes work placements, tailored guidance and nationally-recognised qualifications.

Angela Kerins, of the Rehab Group which support the project scheme, said JobFit was a flexible, supportive programme, which helped people to identify and play to their strengths.

"It is working extremely well, with high participation rates in every centre," she said.

"What we are seeing on the programme is people gaining confidence, improving their ability to look for jobs and to plan their future. We already have some great success stories, with people working towards qualifications, gaining employment and being accepted on to training programmes."

Free programmes, which can last up to 13 weeks, aim to support those who have been in receipt of a social welfare payment for three months or more.

Participants can continue to retain their social benefit during training at JobFit centres, which operate in Blanchardstown, Smithfield, Tallaght, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Castlebar, Athlone and Dundalk.

It offers people the opportunity to retrain and upskill in a range of areas, with modules on offer in information technology skills, health and social care, consumer awareness, manual handling, workplace safety and food hygiene. Successful participants can achieve FETAC qualifications.

Mary Coughlan, minister for education and skills, officially launched the programme.

She said supporting the unemployed was a key focus for Government - with 32 million euro invested in the labour market activation fund to provide training to 12,000 people this year.

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