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Start Here Programme

06 May 2024   /   Natalie Kay

Photography credit: Pacemaker

On the 31st January 2022, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey launched a £10m Employment & Skills Initiative, which will see grants awarded to organisations to cover salary costs for three years in sectors hard hit by the Covid pandemic namely the arts, heritage, creative industries, sports and voluntary and community sectors. The £10m funding can be used to attract new entrants and upskill existing staff in an effort to retain talent.

The Minister is pictured at CS Lewis Square, Belfast with some of the partners who will be delivering and supporting delivery of the scheme (L-R): Karly Greene, Director of Strategic Development & Partnerships, Arts Council; Professor Paul Moore, Director Future Screens NI, supporting the Arts Sector; Minister Deirdre Hargey; Geraldine Cooper, Lead Facilitator, The Rank Foundation, supporting both the Sports and the Voluntary & Community sectors; Dr Paul Mullan, Director NI The Heritage Fund, supporting the Heritage Sector and Antoinette McKeown, CEO, Sport NI.

Start Here is a grants programme offering not-for-profit organisations in Northern Ireland the opportunity to apply for funding for a new 3-year entry level position. This grants programme is specifically targeted at the Sport and Voluntary & Community sectors.

The Department for Communities is providing funding to the Arts, Creative Industries, Heritage, Sports and Voluntary and Community sectors to address employment and skills deficits which have arisen, as a result of, or been exacerbated by, the COVID19 pandemic. Through key roles impacted upon by the pandemic, the aim is to enhance an individual’s job prospects and skill sets and in doing so, strengthen the organisations and sectors to aid recovery and sustainability. This is in recognition of the wider benefits these sectors bring to Northern Ireland citizens. The Department for Communities has appointed the Rank Foundation to deliver this programme to organisations specifically within the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and the sports sector, in the form of the Start Here programme

Voluntary & Community sectors

We invite you to apply for the Start Here programme if your organisation fits the following criteria:
• Are you a not-for-profit VCSE organisation that is based within Northern Ireland?
• Can you support the employability and skills of an individual who wishes to enter into, or progress within, the VCSE sector?
• Has the type of role this individual would fulfil been affected by the pandemic?
• Will your support for this role strengthen the VCSE sector?

Applications are now closed.

Sports sector

We invite you to apply for the Start Here programme if your organisation fits the following criteria:
• Are you a not-for-profit Sports governing body that is based within Northern Ireland?
• Can you support the employability and skills of an individual who wishes to enter into, or progress within, the sports sector?
• Has the type of role this individual would fulfil been affected by the pandemic?
• Will your support for this role support Sport in Northern Ireland?
• Is your organisation recognised by Sports NI? Check here.

Applications are now closed.

 

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