Positive Action Employability Programme celebrates graduates

10/01/2019

The Positive Action Employability Programme, which offers adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to secure paid, permanent jobs within Patient & Client Support Services across the Trust, held a Celebration Event at Riddel Hall, Stranmillis last month. 

The programme was run in partnership with a number of BelfastTrust departments; Adult Learning Disability Day Services, Patient & Client Support Services, staffside and Human Resources.

The 14 week training programme which commenced in September 2018 was based at Elliot Dynes Patient & Client Support Services Training Department. Belfast Metropolitan College was pivotal in the delivery of the programme with the support of Patient & Client Support Services staff. Throughout the programme the trainees underwent continual assessment and feedback supported by their Tutor, Patient & Client Support Services staff and their Employment Support Officers. As a result, nine trainees graduated from the programme and will now be offered paid employment from available posts within Patient & Client Support Services across the Trust.

Trainees were joined at the celebration event by their famillies, friends, Patient & Client Support Services staff who had been supporting them while on placement, and the supporting organisatiions to celebrate their ‘graduation’ from the programme. Seamous Trainor, Co-Director of Patient & Client Services, emphasised the importantance of the role that each graduate as new a employee within the Trust will be undertaking.  He also discussed the impact the training programme has had on Patient & Client Support Services staff and thanked each of them for their support in the delivery of the programme.

Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, was the keynote speaker at the event and congratulated the Trust on going beyond compliance in relation to this very positive initiative which he felt should be replicated across all other Health and Social Care Trusts and public sector bodies. Presenting certificates, Belfast Trust Chairman, Peter McNaney congratualted each graduate and welcomed them as new employees to the Trust. 

A film crew from the esc-Film company have been documenting the development of the programme and followng the progress of the candidates on their journey through the Programme.  It was a fitting tribute to the progression that each trainee has made over the past 14 weeks and whilst their graduation has marked the end of their journey on the Positive Action Employability Programme it in turn marks the begining of a new and exicitng chapter in each of their careers as employees of the Belfast Trust. 

Aisling Curran, Learning Disability Services Manager, thanked each of the partner organisations who have supported the Positive Action Employabilty Programme: Belfast Metropolitan College, Open College Network, Orchardville Society, NOW Group, Ulster Supported Employment Ltd, Mencap, Disabity Action and Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employemnt. Aisling confirmed that as a result of the success, the Positive Action Employabilty Programme will be a recurrent recruitment programme across Belfast Trust with view to the programme being rolled out regionally across other Trusts.

Congratulations to our graduates who will be taking up their new jobs across the Trust on 14th January 2019.  We welcome them all to the Belfast Trust and wish them every success in their new careers.