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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

    Apply to an employment academy (link opens in a new window).

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

  • Business Services Employment Academy

    The Business Services Employment Academy will equip you with the practical skills you need to get a job in Belfast’s growing professional and business sector. You’ll get support to develop skills and gain experience to move into open job roles with several employers across the city. 

    Job roles include business administration and operations, customer and client services, HR and finance.

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

    Eligibility for a Business Services Employment Academy

    The academy is open to people who are currently unemployed or underemployed.

    How to apply to a Business Services Employment Academy

    To apply, go to:

     

  • Children's Care, Learning and Development, 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.  Upskilling qualifications are delivered weekly and monthly depending on the qualification you're undertaking. Programme duration ranges from nine to 12 months.

    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.

    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).

    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.

  • Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy

    We are currently recruiting for our Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy which starts in October 2022. 

    What a Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy offers

    The academy will run for nine months and offer a programme of workshops on topics including:

    • health and safety
    • safeguarding
    • school policies and procedures
    • learning support strategies
    • promoting positive behaviour
    • equality and diversity
    • assessment strategies and professional development

    as well as one-to-one mentoring and input from guest speakers.

    Qualifications and learning 

    Participants will gain training, a qualification and workplace experience. You’ll be working towards a Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools 5329-31 (QCF). Each participant will be visited and observed by their assessor in the workplace a minimum of three times.

    The programme of learning will be facilitated by various teaching methods to make sure that each participant’s learning needs are met. This will involve discussion, written activities and group work led by the tutor; as well as research and individual tasks. 

    Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in ICT tasks. Visual aids and other teaching resources will be used throughout the programme, including interactive whiteboards.

    Eligibility for a Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy

    To apply, you must:

    • live in Belfast
    • work as a Classroom Assistant (temporary contract)
    • have Maths and English at GCSE or equivalent or willing to gain these qualifications

    How to apply to a Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy

    To apply, go to:

  • 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 a Construction Employment Academy involves

    Applicants selected for training will take part in the programme to give them the certificates and skills needed to begin work in the construction sector. The academy includes the CSR course, First Aid and manual handling training and onsite work experience.

    The programme will also provide sector-specific support including:

    • CSR card
    • medical fees where required
    • AccessNI 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.

  • Fibre Employment Academy

    Our Fibre Employment Academy is designed in partnership with fibre optic employers and fibre splicing training organisations in Belfast. It provides training, certificates, and hands-on experience in fibre splicing and general fibre optics work and enables Belfast residents to apply for fibre splicing roles.

    What’s involved in the Fibre 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 a CSR course, fibre splicing training and exam, underground and overhead safety works and other onsite experience.

    The academy also provides sector-specific support including:

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

    Everyone who completes the Fibre Employment Academy will be guaranteed a job interview.

    Eligibility for a Fibre Employment Academy

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

    How to apply to a Fibre Employment Academy

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

  • Health and Social Care Employment Academies

    Our Health and Social Care Employment Academies are designed in partnership with sectoral bodies and key employers from the Belfast region. The academies have already helped over 348 Belfast residents to get employment. Academy training is delivered online and face-to-face.

    What a Health and Social Care Employment Academy involves

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

    • motivate participants and support them to develop the 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, such as help with CV-writing, mock interviews and sourcing supports on behalf of participants to remove individual barriers to participation

    Our employment academies 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.

    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.

    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 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

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

    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

  • 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 the Retrofit Academy involves

    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

    This academy (currently 16 weeks in duration) will provide you with the fundamental skills you need for a career in the technology sector, including software development, product management and employability through classroom and on-the-job learning.

    Upon successful completion, you’ll be invited for a job interview with a recruiting employer, providing you with a clear career pathway to working in tech.

    People with tech skills are in demand: the UK’s leading companies are increasingly using technology to manage their activities, market their products and communicate with their customers.

    Eligibility for a Technology Employment Academy

    To apply, you must:

    • be aged 18 or above at the time you apply
    • complete an aptitude assessment as part of the application process
    • be a motivated, tech enthusiast with a positive attitude

    How to apply to a Technology Employment Academy

    To apply, go to:

    You can also contact us by email developmente@belfastcity.gov.uk

     

  • 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

    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 and LGV.

    The programme will also provide sector-specific support including:

    • medical fees
    • AccessNI 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.


    Belfast Labour Market Partnership may fund some of these academies. 

Programme and delivery organisations

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