The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) has today released data showing that Steps 2 Success, the Department for Employment and Learning of Northern Ireland’s employment support programme, has helped 6,933 jobseekers into work since the programme began in October 2014.
Steps 2 Success is provided by lead contractors in partnership with a network of local organisations who deliver high quality support across Northern Ireland. The programme is for those jobseekers who have spent a significant amount of time out of employment or have a health condition or disability. This means that people being helped by the programme are likely to be a significant distance from the labour market, with each job gained representing a significant achievement for that individual and a potential transformation in their lives and that of their families.
The ERSA figures have been published to coincide with the first release of official performance data from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) today which shows jobseekers who have been in work for at least ten days and whose job start has been verified and gone through the payment process, which usually takes 6 – 8 weeks. Today’s figures from ERSA include all individuals who have started a job while on the programme, such as those for whom providers have not yet received a payment, and thus help provide a more comprehensive picture of performance.
All lead contractors for the Steps 2 Success programme are members of ERSA, which is the representative body for the employment support sector in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
ERSA, Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:
“Steps 2 Success has now helped almost 7,000 jobseekers gain a job since it began in October 2014. Entering work after a significant time unemployed can have a huge impact on someone’s life, helping to raise their confidence and move them towards financial independence.
“These figures show the programme’s made a good start. In particular, we’re delighted that young people and ‘JSA early entrants’ – individuals who have been judged by their Employment Service Adviser to have significant barriers to work which cannot be addressed by the Employment Service – are doing well on the scheme. However, there is more to be done. Performance will grow as the programme develops, ensuring that the needs of jobseekers are constantly being met.”
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Notes to Editors
1. The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the sector body for those delivering or with an interest in employment support services in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. ERSA’s membership spans the private, voluntary and public sectors and ranges from large multi-nationals through to small charities. It has over 200 members, including all prime contractors of Steps 2 Success. The majority of its members are not for profit.
2. Case studies and more information on the programme can be found in the attached briefing.