EMPLOYABILITY and skills professionals met on Wednesday at the newly renovated St Comgall’s on Divis Street to learn about the Belfast Labour Market Partnership (LMP) and its priorities over the coming months and years.
The Belfast LMP is part of the LMP network launched by the Department for Communities to improve employability outcomes and labour market conditions by working with a wide range of partners, meeting local needs and helping to connect employers with employees.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I am delighted to have been able to support the work of the Belfast Labour Market Partnership which will help aid employers and those looking to enter employment or improve their employment opportunities.
“The harnessing of local expertise within tailored action plans which address Belfast’s particular needs will help tackle the complex and changing landscape of employability provision.
“A real benefit of this ground-up approach is that local knowledge can be used to meet the specific challenges faced. I am grateful to all of our partners and stakeholders who have been involved in designing and driving forward this labour market initiative.”
The Belfast Partnership was developed by Belfast City Council with funding from the Department for Communities and Department for the Economy.
Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Michelle Kelly who opened the event explained that the Belfast Agenda outlines the Council's commitment to create employment and opportunity.
"The Labour Market Partnership will be a key tool to achieving that," she said.
"It’s a very focused, co-ordinated response between ourselves, the Department for Communities, Invest NI, Federation of Small Business, Confederation of British Industry NI, the Department for the Economy and others to overcome jobs and skills challenges; connecting employers with employees and meeting skills pipeline needs so that we can support inclusive growth in Belfast.
“The bottom line is that we want to get people back to work quickly and mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 on the labour market; empowering people furthest from the labour market to get into employment and succeed, as well as making sure that no-one is left behind.
"We’ll be co-ordinating targeted support for disadvantaged groups and re-skilling and upskilling people who are either out of work or on low incomes so that they can secure new or better jobs and concentrating on growth areas such as green, digital and tech sectors.
“It’s really fantastic to see so many of those working in employability and skills joining us today – as true collaboration will be fundamental to the Belfast Labour Market Partnership’s success.”
Belfast City Council and partners have worked with a wide range of stakeholder groups to consider employment supply and demand, education, training and support programmes and have developed a Belfast LMP action plan tailored to the city’s specific labour market needs.
The Belfast LMP will focus on two key pieces of work including a Gateway Service to help people make informed career choices by providing easy to access, independent and quality information, advice and guidance tailored to their individual needs and career aspirations – whether that’s job matching, coaching or health support.
It will also include a Labour Market Observatory bringing together intelligence, data and information on key elements of the city’s labour market in one central resource, which will be made freely available to jobseekers, students, intermediaries, policy makers, training and education providers, investors and employers.