29th May 2012
Jobless given the skills to succeed
Over 70 people from Belfast and Lisburn have completed the latest round of the HARTE programme which provides job training opportunities in the hospitality and retail sector for the long-term unemployed.
The Hospitality and Retail Training for Employment (HARTE) initiative is jointly funded by Belfast City Council, Lisburn City Council and the European Social Fund and is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).
This latest round of the programme delivered five training programmes – three of which were in conjunction with employers such as Fitzers (catering contractors for Titanic Belfast); JRS (contractors for the MAC in Belfast) and the Premier Inn hotel in Lisburn.
The programme was delivered for both councils by Time Associates, GEMS NI and Belfast Met.
At a recent celebration event 75 participants who completed the latest round of HARTE were awarded with certificates, presented by Councillor Guy Spence from Belfast City Council's Development Committee.
Alderman Christopher Stalford, chairman of Belfast City Council's Development Committee, said: "The HARTE programme is an excellent initiative for offering professional support and skills training to those seeking employment in the hospitality and retail industries. It is also unique in that it provides job opportunities to those who have been unemployed for a significant period of time."
Rebecca Simmons from east Belfast, one of the participants, said: "I found the HARTE programme very enjoyable. The tutors were extremely helpful and the skills and qualifications I gained will be useful across a variety of jobs. I can carry them anywhere."
Cathy Jones, HR manager of Fitzers Catering said: "The programme provided trainees with good training and insight into working in the hospitality industry."