10 September 2018
Press Release - 28 August 2018
Three Belfast students have gained their first insight into the world of work by spending four weeks this summer working with Radius Housing. The students, aged 16 and 17 and currently studying for A-Levels, have spent time working with staff at the housing association as part of Belfast City Council’s Paid Work Experience Programme. This exciting and innovative scheme led by Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee is designed to target young people from across the city and provide them with the opportunity to gain an insight into the working environment in key growth sectors .
The programme is being delivered bySentinus, a not for profit educational charity which works with schools across Northern Ireland to promote engagement around STEM subjects and support young people in the development of their wider essential skills, on behalf of Belfast City Council. It was open to 16 to 18 year olds residing in the Belfast City Council area.
Radius Housing was one of the first organisations to sign up to the programme, and three students from Strathern College, St Mary’s CBS and St Louise’s Comprehensive College have just completed their four week placements.
Eileen Patterson Director of Communities at Radius Housing, said: “This programme has been a fantastic collaboration between Belfast City Council, Sentinus and Radius and forms part of the programme for wider community engagement associated with our Visteon regeneration project. The three placement students that we have hosted, two of which are from West Belfast have been exemplar in their attitude and approach to work.
“Working with communities in providing high quality housing, care and support provisions is a central part of what we do at Radius. We are also aware of our ability to influence and contribute to the wider aims and objectives associated with city growth. Our new community investment strategy, aligns closely with Belfast City Council’s first community plan, “The Belfast Agenda”. Both documents recognise the importance of supporting initiatives that encourage working and learning, and the summer placement programme has provided an opportunity to collaborate in meeting shared objectives.”
Placement student Chloe McLaughlin from St Louise’s College, said: “This wonderful placement in Radius Housing has given meant the opportunity to work on a range of different projects throughout the organisation and has given me a unique insight into the work of a large housing association. It has opened my eyes up to the diversity of careers available through the housing sector, and, even in just a few weeks, has helped me learn new skills and priceless experience, which I will be able to carry into my studies and future career.”
Councillor Donal Lyons, chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said: “One of the key objectives in our Belfast Agenda is creating employment and opportunity, so we’ve developed the Paid Work Experience Programme to give young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the world of work, enhance their employability skills, maximize their chances of securing meaningful employment and help to shape their future careers.
“It’s great to hear first-hand from young people who have benefitted from the programme and I’m delighted that this partnership has proven so successful.”
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