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City for working and learning

Training and support

  • Belfast Employment Academies

    The employment academies provide tailored training to help people get jobs and help businesses with recruitment. An employment academy is a short, intensive training programme for a group of 15 people maximum. Academy participants must be Belfast residents. 

    An academy can include:

    • an opportunity to hear about the role from people already in the career
    • pre-interview training
    • technical or accredited modules or both
    • guaranteed interview for people completing the academy

    Additional criteria may apply for specific programmes. Academies have been delivered in these sectors:

    Apply to an employment academy

    To apply to an employment academy, go to Apply to an employment academy (link opens in a new window).

    For information on Belfast Employment Academies, email economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk

  • Business Support Employment Academy

    Would you like to become one of our Business Support Clerks? 

    Our Business Support Employment Academy provides free training, accreditations and application and interview support.

    To be eligible, you must be:

    • currently unemployed for at least three months or working less than 16 hours a week
    • available to attend the Business Support Employment Academy from 20 June to 1 July 2022

    To express your interest, send your name and contact details to: economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk


    We will advertise Business Support Clerk roles from 27 June to 4 July 2022.

  • Leisure Employment Academy

    Would you like a job in one of Belfast’s leisure centres? We’re currently recruiting for a Leisure Employment Academy which will help prepare people for job opportunities with GLL. They run our leisure centres in Belfast. Training will take place between 9 and 22 June 2022.

    What the Leisure Employment Academy involves

    If you’re selected to take part, you'll:

    • gain the NPLQ – National Pool Lifeguard Qualification which allows you to work in a a leisure centre
    • be guaranteed an interview for a position with GLL in one of our leisure centres
    • receive employability support to prepare you for interview and aftercare for six months while in employment.

    Eligibility to take part in the Leisure Employment Academy

    To be eligible, you must meet these essential criteria:

    • live in the Belfast City Council area
    • unemployed or working less than you wish
    • able to pass a swim test – demonstrating that you can swim 50m in any stroke under 60 seconds
    • committed and able to complete all the academy training from 9 to 22 June 2022
    • committed to gaining work within the leisure sector once you’ve completed the academy.

    How to apply to a Leisure Employment Academy

    If you meet the essential criteria, you can apply online and we will contact you.

    You should select 'Leisure' when applying.

    Closing date for applications

    You can register until Friday 3 June 2022. A swim test will take place on Monday 6 June 2022.

  • Business Services Employment Academy

    We’re recruiting for our Business Services Employment Academy which will equip you with the practical skills you need to get a job in Belfast’s growing professional and business sector.

    You’ll develop skills in:

    • professional social media
    • IT
    • communications
    • team-working
    • employability

    There is support available for childcare and travel. If you live in Belfast, aren’t currently employed or you're working less than you want to, you can email belfastworks@gemsni.org.uk for an expression of interest form.

  • Health and Social Care Employment Academies

    Our Health and Social Care Employment Academies are an innovative training programme designed in partnership with sectoral bodies and employers from the Belfast region. From inception, the academies have enabled over 250 Belfast residents to achieve a successful job outcome.

    Our childcare, playwork and Health and Social Care Employment Academies aim to:

    • motivate participants and support them to develop the employability skills needed to successfully compete for and secure employment
    • address employment barriers facing participants including development of interpersonal skills and confidence-building
    • align and add value to any complementary support that is available, such as help with CV-writing, mock interviews and sourcing supports on behalf of participants to remove individual barriers to participation.

    Academy programmes are demand-led and designed to meet employers' needs while enabling participants to apply for vacant posts. All participants who complete the training are guaranteed a job interview.

    What’s involved in a Health and Social Care Employment Academy?

    Academy provision is delivered online. Face-to-face training should resume in 2022.

    Recruitment  and screening

    Participants are invited to an informal interview to make sure they have the necessary qualities and values needed to work in the sector.

    Pre-academy and information session

    Successful participants attend a pre-academy session to make sure they have access to appropriate technology to enable them to attend. Participants will be informed of what they can expect throughout the academy.

    Academy duration

    Participants attend a five-day academy followed by aftercare support.

    Employment offer

    Successful participants begin employment. They will be supported by an employability mentor for six months and follow a qualification pathway relevant to their job where applicable.

    Eligibility for a Health and Social Care Employment Academy

    The Health and Social Care Employment Academies are open to people living in the Belfast City Council area, currently unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours per week. This includes people who are on a current European Social Funded-programme.

    How to apply to a Health and Social Care Employment Academy

    To check your eligibility and apply, go to:

    You can also contact us by email DevelopmentE@BelfastCity.gov.uk or call 028 9027 0482

  • Childcare, Playwork and Health and Social Care Upskilling Employment Academies

    Our Upskilling Employment Academies are in childcare services and Health and Social Care. These academies are for people who work at entry level positions, are keen to get a better job but do not have the qualifications or experience to progress to a supervisory or management role within their industry.

    To apply, you must have your employer's support to participate on the programme. Employers must confirm that opportunities for upskilling progression are available within their organisation.

    What’s involved in an upskilling academy

    Academy provision is delivered by online platforms. Face to face training should resume in 2022. Upskilling qualifications are delivered weekly during the programme for up to 12 months or longer.

    Upskilling qualifications

    • Diploma in Health and Social Care Level 2, Level 3 or Level 5
    • Diploma in Children's Care Learning and Development Level 2, Level 3 or Level 5
    • Diploma in Playwork Level 3 or Level 5

    To access a Level 3 qualification, you must confirm that you haven't already attained a qualification higher than Level 2 within the relevant field.

    To access a Level 4 or 5 qualification, you must confirm that you haven't already attained a qualification higher than Level 3 within the relevant field.

    Participants will be supported by an employability mentor for the duration of the programme (12 months for Level 3 and up to 15 months for Level 5).

    Eligibility for an upskilling employment academy

    The Health and Social Care Upskilling Employment Academies are open to people living in the Belfast City Council area, who are employed and have the opportunity to gain a better job with their own employer.

    How to apply to an upskilling employment academy

    To check your eligibility and apply, go to:

    You can also contact us by email DevelopmentE@BelfastCity.gov.uk or call 028 9027 0482.

  • Fibre Splicing Employment Academy

    Our Fibre Splicing Employment Academy is a new programme designed in partnership with fibre optic employers and fibre splicing training organisations in Belfast.

    This academy will provide training, certificates, and hands-on experience in fibre splicing and general fibre optics work. It will enable Belfast residents to apply for fibre splicing roles.

    What’s involved in the Fibre Splicing Employment Academy?

    Applicants selected for the academy will complete the training to give them the licences, tests and other skills needed to begin a career in fibre splicing. This includes CSR course, fibre splicing training and exam, underground and overhead safety works and other onsite experience.

    The programme will also provide sector-specific support including:

    • CSR card
    • Fibre Splicing Certificate
    • medical fees where required
    • Access NI fees where required
    • travel and subsistence
    • application form support
    • CV and interview skills, where appropriate

    Everyone who completes the employment academy will be guaranteed a job interview.

    Eligibility for a Fibre Splicing Academy

    The Fibre Employment Academies are open to people living in the Belfast City Council area, currently out of work or underemployed. This includes people who are on a current European Social Funded-programme.

    How to apply to a Fibre Splicing Academy

    To apply, contact Fibre Contractors Ltd by email danny@fibre.contractors or call 028 9050 1801. You can also use our online application form to express your interest:

  • Construction Employment Academy

    Our Construction Employment Academy is designed in partnership with construction employers and large-scale construction projects in Belfast, including the Translink Transport Hub.

    This academy will provide training, the necessary certificates or CSR card, and hands-on experience in the construction sector as well as a guaranteed interview to move into work on construction projects.

    What’s involved in a Construction Employment Academy?

    Applicants selected for training will take part in the programme to give them the certificates and other skills needed to begin work in construction, including CSR course, First Aid, manual handling and any other certificate needed to work on specific projects as well as other onsite experience.

    The programme will also provide sector-specific support including:

    • CSR card
    • medical fees where required
    • Access NI fees where required
    • travel and subsistence
    • application form support
    • CV and interview skills, where appropriate

    Every participant that completes the employment academy will be guaranteed a job interview.

    Eligibility for Construction Employment Academies

    The academies are open to people living in the Belfast City Council area, currently unemployed or underemployed. This includes people who are on a current European Social Funded-programme.

    How to apply to a Construction Employment Academy

    To apply, contact Workforce Training by email cward@workforceonline.org or call 028 9024 7016.

  • Retrofit Employment Academy

    Our Retrofit Employment Academy is designed in partnership with the Retrofit Academy CIC (link opens in new window).

    This academy will give you qualifications needed to make buildings more thermal-efficient and sustainable. This can help reduce carbon emissions and improve ventilation and damp problems.

    What’s involved in the Retrofit Academy?

    Applicants selected will complete training to give them the qualifications and skills needed to understand and work in the green economy. Qualifications include:

    • Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Co-ordination and Risk Management
    • Level 4 Award in Retrofit Assessment
    • Level 3 Award in Retrofit Advice
    • Level 2 Award in Understanding Domestic Retrofit

    Eligibility for Retrofit Employment Academy

    There are specific entry requirements for each qualification. When you register for this academy, we will contact you about the qualifications you are eligible to take.

    How to apply to the Retrofit Employment Academy

    To apply, go to Apply to an employment academy (link opens in a new window). For more information on this academy, contact Workforce Training Services by email dearley@workforceonline.org


    Funding for these free courses is from the UK Government under the Community Renewal Fund and the Department for Communities through the Belfast Labour Market Partnership.

  • Technology Employment Academy

    We are currently recruiting for our first Technology Employment Academy.

    We have teamed up with two leading, global technology employers to offer a four-month training programme. Successful applicants will gain technical and employability skills as well as workplace experience, offering the prospect of a permanent job.

    The academy is open to people who are unemployed, underemployed, or interested in a career change.  Applicants will be invited to an information session and then asked to complete an aptitude assessment as part of the candidate selection process.

    How to apply to a Technology Employment Academy

    To apply, go to:

  • Transport Employment Academy

    Our Transport Employment Academy is a training programme in partnership with the Road Haulage Association and transport employers in Belfast. This is the fourth year of the academy. Over 80 per cent of previous participants found employment as drivers.

    We are accepting applications to our:

    • Lorry Driver Transport Employment Academy to fill vacancies in haulage companies
    • Bus Driving Employment Academies in partnership with Translink and the Education Authority
    • Taxi Driving Employment Academy to fulfil roles with local taxi companies

    People selected for training will take part in the programme to give them the licences, tests and other skills needed to begin a career in transport, including theory tests and practical tests for HGV, LGV or PSV.

    The programme will also provide sector-specific support including:

    • medical fees
    • Access NI fees where required
    • theory support and tests
    • practical lessons
    • test fees
    • licensing fees
    • travel and subsistence
    • CPC where required
    • application form support and interview skills where appropriate

    People who complete the employment academy will be guaranteed a job interview or the support needed to become self-employed.

    Eligibility for a Transport Employment Academy

    Transport Employment Academies are open to people living in the Belfast City Council area, currently out of work or underemployed. This includes people on a current European Social Funded-programme. Applicants for these academies must hold a full UK car driver’s licence for at least two years and have no more than three current penalty points.

    How to apply to a Transport Employment Academy

    To apply, contact Workforce Training by email cward@workforceonline.org or call 028 9024 7016.

Programme and delivery organisations

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