Farry launches Project Ignite to help individuals toward employment

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Community, Jobs & Careers
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has launched the European Social Funded initiative entitled ‘Project Ignite’ to help people with disabilities move towards and into employment. Project Ignite, which will run for three years to 2018, aims to assist 306 individuals, providing 27farry170 with qualifications, 260 with work experience, and 45 people moving into employment. The Project will improve participants’ life and work skills, prepare them for employment and enhance their independence. Project Ignite will be delivered by disability charity, the Orchardville Society, with funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), the Department for Employment and Learning’s Disability Employment Service and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Minister Farry said, “The Orchardville Society’s programmes, supported by the Northern Ireland ESF Programme, and working in conjunction with employers, are excellent examples of how we can align new and innovative approaches with mainstream interventions. “This flexible approach provides people with the skills, qualifications and work experience that enable them to compete much more effectively in the labour market. “This is a perfect example of a project, funded under the new £112million European Social Fund Programme investment which I announced last month, providing opportunities to people who face the greatest barriers to work and learning. “Total ESF funding over the 2014-2020 period will support over 42,000 individuals facing barriers to employment and 2,340 families with a high level of need to develop their capacity to reach full potential in terms of education, training, health, social and economic issues.” The event to launch Project Ignite was held along with Orchardville’s Annual Awards Day, celebrating the achievement of 85 Orchardville trainees who have participated in previous training programmes, many of which have been funded through the ESF. Margaret Haddock, Chief Executive of the Orchardville Society, said: “Orchardville Society is delighted to have been selected to receive European Social Fund monies as without this assistance many people with a severe learning disability and/or autism would be excluded from the employment market. We look forward to delivering a high quality programme over the next three years for people with learning disability and/or autism.”
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