An event has been held in Coleraine to help people on Employment and Support Allowance get back into work.
Working with the Department for Communities and other organisations, PeoplePlus NI manages the Steps 2 Success programme across the Northern region and provides tailored support and mentoring for those who want to rebuild confidence or improve their skills before applying for employment.
Attendees in the West Bann Development centre heard that more than 13,000 people have been helped back to work through the programme, representing around 1,071 people in the Coleraine area.
Positive Steps is part of the Steps 2 Success programme and is specifically aimed at ESA claimants - it is entirely voluntary and does not affect their benefits.
Tina McKenzie, group managing director for Staffline, PeoplePlus NI’s parent company, said: “From our experience, we know that most people on health-related benefit want to work, particularly if it’s part-time, scheduled around caring needs, or with accommodations for their health. The difficulties they face however mean that is not as easy as filling in a job application.
“Many ESA customers could suffer from low self-esteem, feel isolated or feel unsure of how to go about getting back into work, especially if they’ve been economically inactive for some time.
“The Positive Steps programme run by PeoplePlus NI takes a look at each individual who comes through our doors and provides them with very tailored support that will address whatever specific needs they have to help them feel confident and ready to find work that suits their individual circumstances.”
Positive Steps is open to anyone who is on Employment and Support Allowance and participation does not affect their benefits.
More information can be found at www.peopleplusni.com or by asking for more details in local Jobs and Benefits Offices.