Belfast City Council
Belfast City Council is one of the city´s largest employers. Our responsibilities include:
- arts and heritage
- building control
- community and play provision
- economic initiatives
- environmental health
- indoor and outdoor leisure provisions
- parks and amenities
- tourism, and
- waste management
To support these services we employ people to work in areas including administration, finance, accounting, law, human resources and information technology.
Many of our employees help maintain council properties. These include architects, building service officers, plumbers, electricians, drivers, labourers, security, cleaning and catering staff.
Community Outreach Programme
We launched our Comunity Outreach Programme in 1998 to promote Belfast City Council as an attractive, equal opportunities employer with wide and varied job opportunities.
As part of the programme, we operate an extensive well-structured and meaningful work experience placement scheme. This deals with an average of 180 unpaid work experience placement opportunities each year for students from schools and further education or university establishments. It is also offers 30 unpaid disability work experience placements from various disability organisations. These placements are offered across a range of disciplines (outlined above).
As part of the programmes, we also:
- attend local business education partnership meetings;
- attend jobs and careers fairs;
- conduct ´site visits´ to promote the council as an attractive employer;
- provide training and development opportunities for young people on interview awareness skills using mock interview sessions; and
- deliver presentations to students, teachers and representatives from other organisations (such as ethnic minority and disability groups) to advise them of job opportunities and the council´s recruitment and selection procedures.
The programme has created eight basic grade posts specifically ´ring-fenced´ to disabled applicants. It also operates a ´guaranteed interview´ scheme for people with disabilities and has a confidential care-line for applicants whose first language is not English.
We have skilled up to 50 front-line council officers on sign language techniques and issue details of all council vacancies to under-represented groups within the ethnic minority and disabled communities.
The programme holds the NIACRO award for the fair recruitment of people with criminal convictions and has attained the ´Gold´ Opportunity Now benchmarking award for gender equality. We´ve also engaged ina partnership project which encourages women into non-traditional roles.
More recently, we have engaged with the Citywide Employability Consortium (CEC) through the Community Outreach Programme, to develop pre-employment training programmes for the long-term unemployed. We´ve also worked in partnership with Bryson Charitable Group´s Training and Employment Unit (North City Training) onthe Young Person´s Employment Initiative (pilot) by providing placement opportunities for 36 long-term unemployed young people from across the city, and we´ve engaged with the Probation Board for NI (PBNI) and Youth Justice Agency (YJA) to provide work experience placements for individuals who are required to carry out community service orders.
The council recognises the potential in everyone regardless of their background. The Comunity Outreach Programme gives individuals the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into carer opportunities within the council and also gives them the opportunity to develop their skills and recognise their own potential. From an employer´s perspective, it recognises the the individuals are our potential workforce in the future and it gives us the opportunity to invest in them and give something back to our citizens.