“What we require are personnel who are committed and customer-focused. It is the interaction with customers which ultimately retains trade and therefore pays the bills. A motivated presentable employee who can communicate effectively with customers in a responsible manner automatically conveys goodwill. Personality and attitude are much more important in the delivery of service than historical examination achievements”
John Osborne, Operations Manager Unique Inns Ltd
Funded by the Northern Ireland Executive Social Investment fund (April 2015 – March 2018) EmployAbility South will support 375 unemployed people of working age living in what are described as the more socially-deprived communites and neighbourhoods in South Belfast to:
EmployAbility South has 6 key stages that form the participant journey – supporting each person to improve their soft skills such as confidence and motivation, get help with essential skills improving numeracy, literacy and ICT and when necessary English language skills, building marketable skills for the work and industry specific skills and qualifications that are required by employers and directly linked to current and incoming job opportunities.
The South Belfast Economic Forum, established in 2013 under the chairmanship and guidance of Peter Dixon (former CEO, now Chairman of Phoenix Natural Gas) aims to enhance the economic and social well-being of the area, ensuring that all sections of the community are able to benefit from economic opportunities, to support the growth and success of existing businesses and to encourage new enterprise. The SBEF is demonstrating a strong and active membership base of cross sectoral representatives from local independent retail, constituted business associations, private sector digital media companies, Queens University, Belfast Metropolitan College, training and enterprise agencies, Invest NI and local community and voluntary organisations.
The Industry Champions Panel is a Sub Committee of the SBEF, feeding into and from the Economic Forum ensuring connectivity and meaningful engagement with strategic economic development stakeholders.
The Industry Champions Panel will deliver a strategic and operational role within Employability South Representing 5 key thematic employment sectors, The Industry Panel membership includes:
Our team is currently introducing EmployAbility South to employers, developing an understanding of their people and skills needs and exploring recruitment opportunities for EmployAbility South Participants.
The Industry Champions Panel and the employers we work with will be directly involved in supporting the development of stages 2 – 6 of the programme and the evaluation of programme outcomes.
“At Premier Inn we have a range of roles to include receptionists, housekeepers, food and beverage team members, chefs etc. It is helpful that potential employees have had a background of customer service or perhaps completed a food safety / health and safety course. This is why I am particularly keen to work with programmes like this as they will usually have completed a classroom style introduction to the likes of customer service and health and safety prior to going to their work placements. I currently have 3 hotels in Belfast and 1 in Lisburn where I can invite work placements to spend a week across the departments and give them a mock interview at the end. Should positions be available within the hotels we can look to offer those from this programme”
Tammy Stevenson, Human Resources Manager, Premier Inn
Our Team has a formidable track record in working with employers across industry sectors helping them to recruit and select job- ready candidates who will help make their businesses successful. Whilst we do make a strong value proposition in terms of corporate social responsibility to the employers we work with, we also make an equally strong business results orientated proposal, helping employers to fill harder to fill vacancies. We can offer a full recruitment and selection package and will work with you to get you the right person, for the job at the right time. We offer the opportunity for you to select and trial in real employment conditions:
This illustration sets out the things that the employers we are working with tell us they require - our approach to the EmployAbility South training programme design is to build these skills and competences as key delivery areas in soft skills acquisition and industry-specific vocationally-relevant qualifications
Retail Hospitality & Tourism
• Retailing SkillsAbility To Use Tills
• Dealing With Customers
• High Standard Of Empathy And Care
• Team Player
• Strong Work Ethic
• Good Time-Keeping
• Working To Deadlines
• Drug Free
• Minimum 6 Months Experience In Customer Service Role - Or Desire To Learn Role
• Computer Literate
• Confident & Resilient
• Good Communication Skills
• Attention To Detail
• Good Planning & Organisational Skills
• Team Worker
• 'Can-Do' Approach
• Technology Skills Or Desire To Learn
Construction Warehousing & Working In The Community
• Comply With Health And Safety Rules
• Eager To Learn And Develop
• Requires A Csr Card
• Requires Steel Toe-Capped Boots
• Good Time-Keeping
• Can Follow Instructions
• Manual Handling Skills
• Customer Care Skills
• Fork-Lift Licence
• Communication Skills
Sports Leisure And Youth
• Physical Fitness
• First Aid
• Team Worker
• Organisational Skills
• Can Remain Calm Under Pressure
• Time Management
• Enhanced Disclosure
• Practical Skills
• Interpersonal Skills
• Communication Skills
• Sense Of Humour
• Access To Form Of Transport For The Job
• Driving Licence Preferred
• Enhanced Disclosure
Our requirements for a warehouse operative…..
• Must be literate.
• Need basic maths
• Must be able to understand, as well as read and write English.
• Be able to follow instructions / procedures.
• Basic knowledge of computers (not essential).
• Be able to work on their own goals as well as in a team.
• A good timekeeper.
• Can be subjected to a work history check
David Downs, Operations Manager AAH Pharmaceuticals
We recognise that recruitment and talent management is an expensive business – getting it right and getting it wrong costs in terms of people and resources. Working with EmployAbility South offers you as an employer a unique opportunity to “try before you hire”. Our team will support an in-work 3 month assignment for an Employability South participant with your business and will cover all costs including up to 30 hours per week at minimum wage – if you want to top this up we are very happy to work with you on this. All we ask is that you provide at this stage in-work support and work with us and the participant to review their progress mid-way and before the end of the in-work assignment. We will also work with you and the EmployAbility South Participant and build in specific skills/training required by your business prior to the participant starting with you. All EmployAbility South Participants will come equipped with the skills, attitudes and competencies for the job including the key skills for work such as customer care, team work, and problem-solving and effective workplace communication.
Our aim is to work with you during the 3 month in-work assignment and subject to the EmployAbility South participant successfully completing this, that you will make a formal offer of employment to the participant – we will of course continue to offer support if needed.
We will meet you; tell you about the EmployAbility South Project and its aims, find out about your business, its culture, its recruitment needs and how we can work with you to fill current or upcoming vacancies.
We will look at the skill sets and vocationally-relevant qualifications you require for the posts and we will present you with suitable candidates from EmployAbility South who fit your requirements.
We can then organise selection interviews for 3 month in-work assignments with your business.
Once you have selected an EmployAbility South Participant for a 3 month in-work assignment with your business, our team will meet with you and the participant to agree arrangements for their start date, support arrangements and working location, hours/shifts etc; we will resource any pre-employment checks/tests including Access NI checks if required.
During the EmployAbility South In-work assignment, we will ask you to identify and assign a workplace “buddy” for the participant. The workplace buddy will have a mentoring/support role and will provide on-site back up for the participant, checking in on how things are going and helping with any issues or concerns that arise – these are usually what we call “wobbles” often about confidence rather than competence and a friendly face can really help a person find their face in a new workplace environment.
The mid-way review is an important stage of the participant’s in-work assignment; this is the opportunity for the employer, participant, their workplace buddy and our Employer Liaison to look at the participant’s progress – doing the job and their overall workplace performance. This offers the opportunity to work to build on progress achieved, develop potential and to work on any issues or challenges that may have arisen in terms of job function skills, working with others or general areas such as attendance, time-keeping. This will involve an action plan for the remainder of the in-work assignment.
The final review is similar to the mid-way review but will focus on the participant’s performance in the workplace during the in-work assignment.
Based on the outcome of the final review, the Employer will make the participant a formal offer of employment within the employer’s standard terms and conditions of employment. The Employability South Employer Liaison, can if required continue to offer support to the participant and employer via follow-up over the next 6 months.
If a formal offer of employment is not the post in-work assignment outcome, the EmployAbility South Team will work with the participant to develop their employment options going forward with the final review being used to develop an updated action plan.