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Belfast’s Classroom Assistants get top marks!

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Date: 23 Mar 2023

Category: Jobs and skills

Participants in Belfast City Council's first Classroom Assistant Employment Academy receive certificates from Lord Mayor Cllr Tina Black

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Christina Black hosted a celebration event at City Hall today, March 23, for 52 Belfast residents who have successfully completed the first ever Classroom Assistant Employment Academy.

Made possible with funding from the Labour Market Partnership, Belfast City Council’s Classroom Assistant Employment Academy has exceeded all expectations, with 14 academy graduates already securing employment, and the remaining candidates going forward to interview in the coming weeks.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Christina Black explains: “Our Classroom Assistant Academy is helping to meet the demand that Belfast schools are currently facing in relation to recruiting entry level teaching support staff. We’re providing a direct link to a new talent pool of entrants into the education sector, and we’re supporting our residents to develop the skills they need to secure quality employment in the city.

“In addition to this, we’re meeting our Belfast Agenda commitment to support inclusive growth by providing free training - enabling people to apply for roles they otherwise wouldn’t be equipped to do. Thanks to our new academy, people can enter the labour market, perhaps for the first time, or get the support they need to re-enter the workplace after being unemployed. Belfast’s children are also benefitting - particularly those with Special Education Needs.’’

With the help of Labour Market Partnership and Belfast City Council funding, those who gain employment will also complete a six-week OCN Level 3 course in ‘Working with Children and Young People with Special Needs’ and have an opportunity to start a NVQ Level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools this month. These qualifications will help learners to progress from an unqualified classroom assistant position to a qualified role, offering improved terms and conditions, permanent contracts, and better pay.

For information on how to apply for a future Belfast Employment Academy, go to


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