The Foyle Community Work Programme, funded by the Social Investment Fund through The Executive Office under the Delivering Social Change Framework, was a locally developed employability programme/social capacity programme designed to help those furthest from the labour market to develop and enhance their skills.  The project was directed at both young people between the ages of 16-24 (not in education, employment or training) and adults who were long-term unemployed or economically inactive and had no or low level qualifications and experienced other barriers to employment.

The Foyle Community Work Programme has supported 119 participants in paid work-placement for up to 2 years, and has enabled participants to achieve an average of 5 accredited vocational training and educational qualifications, relevant to their area of work.

Since completing the programme, approximately 60% of participants have now secured employment within the city. At today’s event Gauge NI, through their social impact study of the FCWP  programme, has reported that for every £1 invested in the FCWP there has been £5.25 of social value generated within the city.

                                                            Finbarr Fitzpatrick (GAUGE NI)

                                                                Niall Mc Gurk (Roe Consultancy)

Greater Shantallow Area Partnership was the Lead Partner for the programme and was supported by Customized Training Services, as the Delivery organisation responsible for sourcing the opportunities plus 45 local Host Employers from the Community/Voluntary sector, social enterprise and private sector.

Ciara Ferguson, Manager of Greater Shantallow Area Partnership, said “The FCWP has made a great difference to many people’s lives and to our communities. Some of those people joined us today - employers with a motivated new employee, and employees with a bright career ahead of them”.

A project participant stated “I have more confidence, am less isolated, have a better daily routine, am getting on better with family and friends and am better off financially each week”.

Dr Mark Browne, deputy Permanent Secretary of the Executive Office, said: “The Social Investment Fund was designed to find solutions to longstanding problems and deliver real, lasting benefits to communities most in need. SIF provided funding of £3.3 million to this project to help those furthest from the labour market to develop and enhance their skills and increase their employability. I was delighted to attend the event today to celebrate another successful SIF project and hear about the impressive outcomes it has delivered, including sustained employment and increased community engagement and partnership.” 

Presentations and full reports presented today will be available online shortly. 

For further information on the Foyle Community Work Programme

OR contact Helen SAYERS at GSAP on 02871358787