Programme offers business advice

Jennifer McWilliams (Antrim Enterprise Agency), Emma Garrett (Mallusk Enterprise Park), Cllr Paul Michael and Gareth Doherty (Enterprise Northern Ireland) pictured at the launch event.
Jennifer McWilliams (Antrim Enterprise Agency), Emma Garrett (Mallusk Enterprise Park), Cllr Paul Michael and Gareth Doherty (Enterprise Northern Ireland) pictured at the launch event.

A new programme has launched in the borough which will boost jobs by working with unemployed and economically inactive people in the region.

The Exploring Enterprise Programme, delivered under the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme 2014-2020, will be managed by Enterprise Northern Ireland and rolled by Antrim Enterprise Agency and Mallusk Enterprise Park Ltd.

The Exploring Enterprise Programme is a free special support initiative aimed at helping unemployed or economically inactive individuals improve their employment prospects as well as exploring potential self-employment opportunities.

The course provides one-to-one tailored business mentoring support, with the opportunity to work towards achieving an accredited QCF Level 1 Qualification in Understanding Business Enterprise.

Participants will get the opportunity to visit local businesses and work as part of a team to develop business skills and knowledge.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Cllr Paul Michael said: “This is a fantastic initiative for the borough and we are delighted to be supporting the Exploring Enterprise Programme. “Employability skills are important because in this highly competitive labour market, employers in private, public and the third sector are looking for candidates who are flexible, show initiative and have the ability to undertake various tasks in different environments.

“This employability programme complements our Community Plan by helping not only to create more entrepreneurs but develop the employee skill sets for our thriving business community.”

Michael McQuillan, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for participants who are experiencing challenges or facing barriers to entering or returning to the labour market, to gain an understanding of enterprise and become employment or self-employment ready.

“While being provided with the opportunity to explore self-employment as an option, the participant can work towards a recognised qualification in Understanding Business. This endorsement professionalises their engagement in the programme and is something they will always have to evidence their capability, as they build a career in enterprise.”

This is an Enterprise Northern Ireland initiative which is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020, the Department for the Economy, local enterprise agencies and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

For more information on the Exploring Enterprise Programme, contact Antrim Enterprise Agency on 028 9446 7774 or Mallusk Enterprise Park Ltd on 028 9083 8860.