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Receipt of carers allowance, Employment Support Allowance or are caring for a child under 3

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Training and Employment

Ashton Community Trust’s Training and Employment Services is a one stop shop for job and training needs. Getting people job ready is what we do. Our long term goal is to work towards the sustained economic, social and physical regeneration of the area through a long term people-centred development strategy. We work with all residents of North Belfast who are seeking work and particularly the long-term unemployed and economically inactive. Our programmes are designed to improve personal and professional skills and knowledge. We also provide help and support to people who need help with CVs, filling in forms or applying for jobs. Our work in supporting people to be job-ready is centred on three main themes:

  1. Training
  2. Employment Liaison & Progression and
  3. Mentoring (more about this below)

We also have access to a wide range of support services provided by other organisations in the community and by other departments in Ashton. Being connected means we can signpost a client to a dedicated service for help around childcare, counselling, or benefits. We believe in being accessible to all parts of the community and all people no matter what their background. We recognise that some clients are not ready for immediate work or have ambitions to work in a sector that requires higher level skills and qualifications.

For this reason we offer signposting and support for clients to assist them access further education and training. As well as our main Ashton offices we operate over 25 outreach centres across North Belfast and Newtownabbey.


IMG_0806 Mentors meet clients one-to-one, sign clients up to the most appropriate programme and start by assessing the client’s needs and interests. The client and mentor will develop an action plan that details all steps that a person should take or the mentor can take on the person’s behalf to help them back into work. A mentor will help you develop a CV and help you identify next training steps.


We deliver a range of training courses that are all linked to employability. Our main training courses commonly delivered include: ICT, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Construction, Retail, Warehousing, Hospitality and Essential Skills (English and Maths). All courses can lead to a qualification and many are directly linked to employers i.e. at the end of the course there is a chance to be interviewed for a real job.
Employment Liaison/Progression: Our Employment Liaison Service works closely with employers to source exclusive access to jobs. We already work with many major employers such as Henderson group (Spar), Belfast City Council, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, First Source, Convergys and the Culloden and Merchant Hotels. We circulate CVs of clients interested in that area of work, give clients full information on the job and prepare suitable clients for interview.


Lemis+ client Ciara said: “A year ago I was made redundant and was worrying about supporting my two young children. I joined the Lemis+ project and began working with one of the Mentors. He spotted a job which he thought I would be ideal for. The application form was daunting and without the mentor’s help I am not sure I would have submitted it. I got an interview and Joe helped me by doing a mock interview and going over all the areas I should mention. I got the job and now can look forward to a great Christmas with my kids.”

Core Project client said: “The project really helped me a lot. I had problems in the past with drugs and left school with no qualifications and couldn’t really hold down a job. The mentor really helped my confidence by showing me that I had skills I didn’t know I had and then sending me on training courses. After finishing the programme I decided to go back to college and I hope that I can get qualifications that will help me get a job.”

Community Family Support programme young mum said: “At the start of the programme I really believed that I couldn’t work because I was looking after my son but now I know that I can balance my childcare and a job. I have been getting support from the mentors to help search for a job and have CV all ready to go.”

If you want to know more about the work of the Training and Employment Unit contact: Arlene Moody, Ashton Centre, 5 Churchill Street, Belfast BT15 2BP. Telephone: 028 90742255 or email:

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