Trust Partnership takes radical approach to tackling unemployment

19/11/2010

Following the official launch of the findings of an independent evaluation of The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Health Employment Partnership local decision makers have been urged to adopt a radical new approach for tackling unemployment in the most deprived areas of Belfast.

Following the official launch of the findings of an independent evaluation of The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Health Employment Partnership local decision makers have been urged to adopt a radical new approach for tackling unemployment in the most deprived areas of Belfast.

The Partnership was created by trade union UNISON, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and the local community through the West Belfast Partnership, The Greater Shankill Partnership, and the West Belfast and Greater Shankill Task Force bodies of the Employment Services Board and Employer’s Forum.

Marie Mallon, Director of Human Resources, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said ‘ Health Employment Partnerships can make a real difference to the lives of the individuals and the community and from an employer point of view we are delighted with the contribution these staff can make to the services we provide to our patients and clients’.

The evaluation of the West Belfast and Greater Shankill Health Employment Partnership concluded that the programme has been ‘uniquely impressive’ and ‘value for money’, and has produced a range of positive results such as:

  • 143 people got jobs with the Belfast Trust – most of these people had experienced long term unemployment and barriers to getting jobs
  • 316 lower paid staff in the Trust received additional training to help them develop their careers
  • £385,000 each year – the estimated Government saving on benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support and Incapacity Benefit
  • Up to £1.48 million each year – the added economic impact on the local economy in West Belfast and Greater Shankill

The Partnership is now keen to extend the programme, creating opportunities for people living in deprived areas throughout Belfast.

Caption(R-L)
Karen McAteer, Participant; Marie Mallon, Director of Human Resources, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Tom Mervyn, Director, Employment Services Board; Paula McKeever, Participant, Christine Rea, Participant, ;Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, UNISON.