Training scheme hits major milestone

A unique jobs partnership between employment and skills specialists Ingeus has marked a major milestone in Belfast.

Outsourced contact centre provider Firstsource, which is one of Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employers, has now recruited its 100th employee from the Department for Employment and Learning’s Steps 2 Success adult employment programme, delivered in Belfast by Ingeus.

Firstsource specialises in product solutions and managed services for major UK companies in the telecommunications, media and financial services sectors.

Steps 2 Success is designed to help jobseekers build the skills and experience needed to find and keep a job.

The programme addresses each participant’s specific needs and challenges whilst helping them build skills and valuable experience as they progress into work.

The 100th successful participant now employed by Firstsource is Michael Moloney, 20, from North Belfast.

Michael was unemployed for almost a year, having previously been made redundant from his job in a local factory. Prior to that, he worked in a customer services role for a Belfast leisure centre and so had a taster of the skills required by Firstsource.

“I’m not a lazy person, and so being without a job was very frustrating,” he said. “I began to lose all structure to my days and was desperate to find something that would give me a reason to get out of bed each morning.”

Laura Hourican from Firstsource UK said, “We have been working closely with Ingeus through their Steps 2 Success programme, which aims to give opportunities to long-term unemployed people. Steps 2 Success enables us to offer jobseekers an insight into the contact centre industry and employ those who are suitable for our jobs.

“Thanks to Ingeus we have now recruited 100 people who have come through the programme.

“Ingeus understands our needs as a business and have provided suitable candidates who are now an important part of the Firstsource team.”

Stephen Hillis from Ingeus added, “Our work with Firstsource is a great example of how we can support employers in Belfast by understanding their needs.

“This allows us to provide good candidates who have the right abilities, experience and commitment to fill their jobs.

“As well as helping Michael, the Steps 2 Success programme is supporting a wide range of local businesses as they expand and, as a result, is providing a boost to the Northern Ireland economy.”