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Employability and skills

Employability and skills support for contractors, developers, and investors

  • Supporting contractors, developers, and investors

    As part of our Belfast Agenda, we want to achieve sustainable success for the city, and we want to make sure this success reaches everyone who lives here.

    We want people to come to Belfast, to live, work, invest, study and to experience our city. Belfast is home to real talent, innovation and creativity, and limitless potential.

    However, we recognise that there are still things that get in the way of all our people benefiting from our city’s success – barriers to employment, skills challenges, and inequalities. For businesses it can be a complex ecosystem which creates barriers to accessing support.  We want to ensure everyone has the best possible chance in life to access opportunities and fulfil their potential.

    So we’ve renewed our focus on social value, maximising investment and supporting planning applications through developer contributions, while ensuring the benefits of city’s inclusive growth are realised throughout the city.

  • Social Value

    Social value is our commitment to using our influence and procurement power to help deliver the Belfast Agenda; to drive inclusive economic growth, improve our city’s environment, and support communities and vulnerable people – while ensuring the best possible value for money when purchasing goods, services and works for Belfast’s residents.

    Find out more about our social value policy

  • Developer contributions

    Developer contributions are a planning tool used to mitigate or manage the impacts of new development. They may be used to ensure that new development is supported by the right infrastructure including economic uses. This means that developers may be asked to mitigate skills shortages through the use of employability and skills initiatives.

    Find out more about the Developer Contributions Framework

  • How can we help you?

    We can support you to access wider talent pools, upskilling, reskilling and developing career pathways to address skills shortages and hard to fill vacancies, to help your business grow.

    We can help you build connections with local community organisations, networks and stakeholders including specialist support, statutory provision, and training programmes. This will help you access new talent pools and support diversity in your workforce, including inclusive growth cohorts and young people in the city.

    We can support you to adopt business practices that support inclusive growth while engaging with partners and citizens to create partnerships that benefit your business.

    Since 2013, we’ve integrated social value commitments in council contracts, providing ring-fenced employment and work placement opportunities and promoting accessibility to micro and small businesses. We can provide support for contractors to deliver employment opportunities, initiatives to support young people’s employability and to support social opportunities.

    We can also support your corporate social responsibility objectives by providing information on local community organisations, schools and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

    And we can provide expertise and practical support for all your business, contract, or development’s employability and skills requirements. Additionally, we can support access to local supply chains to support your project to deliver high quality, while investing in local businesses.

  • Training and skills support

    We can work with you to help your business with recruitment by providing a tailored training and recruitment solution. This support aims to connect employers to Belfast residents who are currently out of work or working fewer hours than they would like.

    Support can include:

    • outreach into communities and supporting access to talent in the city
    • promotion of opportunities and meet the employer events
    • bespoke training - technical or accredited modules or both, and soft skills development
    • facilitation of interviews
    • aftercare support for both the employee and employer

    We’ve delivered training and recruitment support for these sectors:

    • social care
    • playwork and childcare
    • fibre splicing
    • nursing
    • transport and logistics
    • retail and hospitality
    • business services
    • technology
    • leisure
  • Access to Belfast networks and stakeholders

    We can help to connect you to citywide employability and skills support organisations. We understand it can be complex and time consuming to identify support programmes and develop partnerships in the city. We can help you to access local provision, statutory bodies and specialist supports and to facilitate access to community planning partners such as Department for Communities, Department for the Economy, and Invest NI (links open in a new window). 

  • ​Supporting young people to create career pathways

    The Belfast Agenda sets the goal for every young person to have a destination that fulfils their potential. If you’d like to support 14 to 24-year olds living in Belfast to access the world of work, training, and employment, we can support you by providing information on, and connections to, local community organisations, local schools, and training programmes.

    We can support you to offer:

    • careers talks
    • vocational sampling
    • placements
    • apprenticeships
    • higher level apprenticeships
  • Digital Badging

    We’re one of the newest Cities of Learning to provide digital badging.

    Find out more information about digital badging

  • Supplier and supply chain opportunities

    We’ll provide information on local supply chains and meet the buyer events to help you make connections with local companies and social enterprises. We can also provide information on sector specific supply chain initiatives.

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