Employment support programme launched in Derry

Stride participant Seamus Gallagher and Ryan Cooke of Lloyd Cooke Motors.
Stride participant Seamus Gallagher and Ryan Cooke of Lloyd Cooke Motors.

A new employment support programme for those living with long term health conditions has been launched in Derry and Strabane

The programme is currently recruiting people who are actively seeking work, but find their health requirements pose additional barriers to securing work.

The STRIDE programme (Support and Training to Realise Individual Development and Employment) is a European Social Fund 2014-2020 supported project, delivered in partnership with Derry and Strabane District Council.

Stride aims to provide training and education, as well as personal and financial support, to those people who find themselves removed from the employment market due to a long-term health condition.

The project does not affect benefit entitlement as it is a voluntary job search and training programme.

The programme is deliverd by Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (USEL), Northern Ireland’s largest training provider for those living with long term health conditions.

USEL employs, supports and trains up to 1,000 people each year with disabilities or health-related conditions.

Two new positions have been created in their North West office in order to deliver the programme.

USEL ESF Project Manager Amanda Newell, said: “The project will provide clients who enrol with job specific training, work experience, job matching service, in work support and a dedicated employer liaison officer. The course lasts one year and does not impact on any existing benefit entitlements. In addition to client specific training and education courses, such as Open College Network accredited courses, STRIDE can also assist with travel and childcare costs.”

Amanda said: “The programme is for anyone with health conditions which affect their ability to work, we welcome applications from those who have an ASD diagnosis, are suffering from depression or other illness which inhibits their ability to work. In addition to creating employment opportunities USEL have a track record of assisting people into suitable and rewarding jobs.”

If you would like to participate or for more information contact STRIDE@usel.co.uk or on 02890 356600