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Belfast Labour Market Partnership strategic overview

Published in August 2023

This document is a summary of Belfast Labour Market Partnership's action plan for 2023 to 2024.

The plan gives an overview of the actions we’ll carry out to support people who aren't in the labour market; as well as what we can do to help them find employment and help employers recruit Belfast residents to fill vacant jobs.

The action plan has four strategic intents which are aligned to the Department for Communities (DfC) themes for Employability NI (ENI), which funds Labour Market Partnerships. These are: Economic Shock, Economic Inactivity, Long Term Unemployment, Youth Unemployment, Disability and Skilled Labour Supply.

The action plan has four strategic intents:

  • Quickly back to work: ensuring a co-ordinated response to the substantial number of people in the city who have been, or are risk of being made unemployed, especially as a consequence of economic shocks such as the Covid-19 pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and recession.
  • Increasing opportunities: empowering those furthest from the labour market to succeed through quality support; especially those considered long-term unemployed, as well as those who are economically inactive.
  • No-one left behind: targeting those disadvantaged groups and places through the delivery of an integrated, comprehensive, inclusive, holistic and local employability approach.
  • Catching-up: supporting access to careers pathways, re-skilling and upskilling for unemployed individuals, as well as those on low incomes.


Targets Actions Outcomes

Reduce the working-age economic inactivity rate in Belfast.


Reduce youth unemployment (18-24) in Belfast.


Increase the median wage in the city.


Increase the percentage of working-age adults with disabilities employed in Belfast.


Ensure a co-ordinated response to jobs and skills challenges through the Belfast Labour Market Partnership that will help improve employability outcomes and connect employers with employees.

Establish and run a Belfast Labour Market Partnership.

Deliver a wide range of employment academies and pathways to connect residents with new, or better, employment opportunities.

Residents of Belfast, especially those furthest from the labour market (including long term unemployed, economically inactive, disabled) get into employment.

Deliver Gateway to Choices Service (G2C).

Belfast residents aged 18+ will have access to Gateway to Choices.  G2C is a specialist triage support resource which supports residents (including those with a disability) through referrals to appropriate provision, job matching/brokerage and use all existing funding mechanisms and interventions, including health, with the ultimate goal of getting more people back into the labour market and to engage in provision that will support their employability and skills journey.  G2C work closely with the Careers Service, JBO Work Coaches, relevant health services and local VCSE organisations to provide quality, up to date, impartial and independent advice tailored to individual needs and career aspirations.

Deliver Bridges to Progression Project.

Bridges to Progression will offer additional support to young people who are struggling to complete their Training for Success programme.

Deliver a range of upskilling employment academies for residents to gain the skills required to sustain their employment, or get a better job.

Residents of Belfast who are working in low-paid or insecure roles will have the opportunity to gain higher level skills development and/or qualifications/licenses, etc which will allow them to progress in their current work-role, or apply for better-paid/more secure employment in another area or growth sector.

Increase awareness of employability and skills programmes in Belfast.


Deliver a co-ordinated communications campaign (Take the Next Step) throughout Belfast to promote awareness of, interest in, and better understanding of type, location and eligibility of Belfast City Council’s employability and skills provision.  Deliver a series of events which will be used to support the Belfast Labour Market Partnership’s objectives and showcase work.

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