Programme aims to help business start-ups

Ciaran Cunningham (Banbridge Enterprise Centre), Shirelle McIvor, (Enterprise Northern Ireland), Samuel Marshall (Armagh Business Centre) and Kirsty Watson (CIDO Innovation Centre). Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
Ciaran Cunningham (Banbridge Enterprise Centre), Shirelle McIvor, (Enterprise Northern Ireland), Samuel Marshall (Armagh Business Centre) and Kirsty Watson (CIDO Innovation Centre). Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

A new programme has been launched to help people in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon to start their own business or find new jobs and training opportunities.

Exploring Enterprise3 (EE3p) is being delivered by Enterprise Northern Ireland, the umbrella body for Northern Ireland’s Local Enterprise Agencies.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 Investment for Jobs and Growth Programme, the Department for Employment & Learning, Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agencies.

This new initiative will provide support to unemployed or economically inactive people across Northern Ireland. It is designed to fill a gap in the market for those who don’t have the opportunities to take part in training or lack the skills to find employment.

The programme provides 143 courses delivered by a network of 29 Enterprise Agencies.

Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland said: “Following on from the success of our previous two programmes, we are delighted to be able to launch EE3p. This new programme will run for three years, with one to one business mentoring and a QCF Level 1 in Understanding Business Enterprise qualification awarded upon successful completion of the programme.

“Our aim is still the same, we want to target people who are unemployed, economically inactive or who are working or in training for less than 16 hours per week to explore self-employment way into the jobs market.

“Participants will receive expert mentoring to help build and improve their CVs, search for job opportunities, practice their interview skills and develop business plans that could help them become self-employed. Participants will be signposted to additional support after completing the programme.

“We have seen many success stories from our previous programme with 2,655 people taking part.

“There is a strong demand for these types of programme and we hope it will be even more successful.”