Employment and Skills Support

Labour Market Partnership

MEALMP Action Plan      Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy     Working with Children Academy     

Transport Academy     Enterprise Pathway     Access All Areas

CleanTech Hub     Restaurant Floor Academy     Counterbalance Forklift Training

Electricians Aid     Upcoming Events

Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership aims to support more people into meaningful employment.

The Labour Market Partnership (LMP) is a province-wide approach developed by the Department of Communities and aims to address issues with jobs and training by combining resources and delivering a collaborative and flexible approach to employability support.

The LMP focuses on improving labour market conditions and addressing issues with employers, training providers, as well as community and voluntary organisations.

Contact us at: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership - 2022/23 Action Plan

Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy

Starting September 2023, Council is offering the opportunity to complete the Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy with support to apply for live, local vacancies. The academy will support candidates currently employed as temporary classroom assistants.

The Academy aims to build confidence within classroom support teams by focusing on the development of the child or young person’s wellbeing and social learning skills.  Understanding how to mentor the individual with needs, while working with the teacher or tutor to develop new cognitive skills, is a core part of the course.


During our nine-month Classroom Assistant Upskilling Academy you will be working towards a Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools which will be delivered through a series of workshops as well as one to one mentoring and input from guest speakers.

This academy will be equally beneficial to newly qualified classroom assistants or more experienced practitioners who want to develop and enhance their skills.

How to apply

Email your contact details to: academy@people-1st.co.uk and a job mentor will be in touch to discuss the next steps. Please note that places are limited and will be offered to suitable candidates who apply early.

For further details contact: academy@people-1st.co.uk

Working with Children Academy

Starting September 2023, we are offering the opportunity to complete an intensive one-week Working with Children Academy with support to apply for live, local vacancies.


  • A chance to improve employability.
  • Guaranteed interviews with local employers.
  • An introduction to the sector and an insight into the range of job roles available.
  • Access to a range of personal development training including communication and teamwork.
  • One to one mentoring support for the duration of the programme.

Who can apply?

The Employment Academy is open to anyone living in the Mid and East Antrim borough area, currently out of work or working less than 16 hours a week. Preference will be given to those who are economically inactive or long-term unemployed.

How to apply?

Email your contact details to academy@people-1st.co.uk and a job mentor will be in touch to discuss the next steps to getting you started on your journey into employment. 

For further details contact academy@people-1st.co.uk.

Mid & East Antrim Transport Academy

The Transport Academy provides all the required training to enable participants to acquire the Category C / HGV Class 2 or Category D / PCV bus licence and supports them to compete for professional driver roles with local employers. 

Places are limited, to progress to the selection process, candidates must:

  • Reside within the Mid & East Antrim Borough Council Area
  • Be unemployed or under-employed (typically working less than 21 hours)
  • Hold a full, clean, current UK Driving Licence – candidates must have held a full UK Driving Licence for at least 2 years. Both the plastic card and paper counterpart will be required to obtain the necessary provisional entitlement to commence training
  • Be willing and able to undertake a medical exam
  • Be committed and available to complete all required aspects of the Academy including appointments for medicals, theory test classes, lessons, tests, and interviews
  • Be committed to taking up appropriate employment within the Transport sector

The Academy is managed by Workforce Training Services, to apply email your contact details including address and postcode to info@workforceonline.org.

Please include ‘Mid & East Antrim Transport Academy’ in the subject line and indicate your preference for either Category C (HGV) or Category D (Bus) within your email.

To address the gender imbalance within the transport sector we particularly welcome applications from women.  

Transport Employers

Borough-based employers interested in engaging with the Academy to support driver recruitment should contact: sean.keenan@midandeastantrim.gov.uk.

For any other information, please contact lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or T: 028 2563 3345.

Mid & East Antrim Enterprise Pathway

The Enterprise Pathways Programme helps MEA residents furthest removed from the labour market to create their own job through self-employment.

Enterprise Pathways will engage those most in need of enhanced support and will prioritise applications from people with long-term health conditions, people with disabilities, people with caring responsibilities and people with low skills/low educational attainment.

Participants will be supported over a period of up to 8 months to identify, explore and test business ideas, develop enterprise and personal skills, build networks, test trade, start and grow a business.   

Each participant is matched with a Skills Coach / Business Mentor and will benefit from up to 15 hours of 1:2:1 bespoke support to help realise their personal goals. Enterprise Pathways support will be additional to and complement existing business start provision available through the Go For It programme.  

Participants can apply to the Get Started Fund to help remove specific barriers to entry, purchase essential equipment and/or acquire specialist services to help accelerate their progress towards self-employment.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be unemployed/economically inactive MEA residents with the right to work in the UK
  • have the desire to start a business in the next 6 months, though may not yet have a pre-determined business idea
  • be committed to engaging with all aspects of the programme and working towards full-time self-employment

To apply:

Send an email registering your interest to: venturefolk@gmail.com with the email subject: Enterprise Pathways Application


If you would like to refer a client to the programme, you can download a referral form and send it to: venturefolk@gmail.com with the email subject: Enterprise Pathways Referral

Access All Areas

Access All Areas is a new Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership initiative, funded by the Department for Communities and delivered by local training and employment specialists, Network Personnel.

Access All Areas will support 20 motivated individuals who are dealing with the additional challenges and barriers to employment due to disabilities/long term health conditions. Each participant will receive bespoke support aligned with their individual circumstances, to enable them to avail of work tasters, placements and employment opportunities with local employers.

Network Personnel’s skilled team of employment mentors will ensure that Access All Areas participants are equipped with the appropriate support and attitudes to produce mutually beneficial outcomes for both participants and employers. Network Personnel will deliver an ‘end to end’ service, providing introductions and guidance (including access to grants, equipment etc.), matching participants with appropriate industries, roles and local employers. Training can also be arranged to ensure that participants have the appropriate skills to meet employer needs.

It is anticipated that socially conscious Mid & East Antrim employers will contribute to the success of Access All Areas by engaging with Network Personnel and programme participants, providing short term and long term opportunities for individuals who face additional challenges in finding and securing employment.

If you would like to participate or if your organisation would like contribute to a legacy of opportunity and inclusion in the Mid & East Antrim region, please contact Alex McKee at Network Personnel T: 028 2568 9509 / 028 7963 1032 or info@networkpersonnel.org.uk.

CleanTech Hub

Targeting participants who want to upskill and transition towards better quality jobs. Support MEA as the province’s leading region for the hydrogen economy and for clean tech, supporting the regional skills ecosystem by upskilling additional trainers, technicians and new industry entrants.

More details to follow.

Restaurant Floor Academy

Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership are offering residents the opportunity to develop their skills within Food Services by participating in our Restaurant Academy. The Restaurant Academy will train 10 participants through this initiative over a 4-week period. All participants will have the opportunity to complete a range of industry-recognised qualifications during their time on the academy.

What are the benefits for you?

  • Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate
  • Level 2 World Host Award in Principles of Customer Service
  • Course delivered by Industry Experts
  • An opportunity to improve your employability skills;
  • One to one mentoring support for the duration of the programme; and
  • Guaranteed interviews with local employers

Location & Course Timetable

Northern Regional College Trostan Avenue, Ballymena

Monday - Wednesday, 9.30am - 4pm

Who can apply?

Mid and East Antrim residents aged 16 years and over who are economically inactive, long-term unemployed or under-employed (typically working less than 16 hours) and current employees who live in the MEA area wishing to upskill within the hospitality sector.

Candidates do not require any qualifications/experience in Food & Beverage to be eligible for a place on this course.

Interested?  E: Pamela.Steele@nrc.ac.uk or E: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk.

Counterbalance Forklift Training

Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership are offering the opportunity to upskill and complete Counterbalance Forklift Training. Training is carried out to ITSSAR approved standards and uses a combination of theory and practical sessions to provide an understanding of forklift trucks, best practice, and safe systems of work.


  • Opportunity to improve your employability skills;
  • Employability support with Job Applications and Interviews; and
  • No cost to you – the training is fully funded.

Who can apply?

Mid & East Antrim residents aged 18 years and over who are economically inactive, long-term unemployed or under-employed (working less than 16 hours). 

Qualifications are not required to be eligible, however all candidates must be available to complete the full 5-day training.

How to apply?

If you are interested in participating in this training opportunity, please register your interest by 5pm on Thursday 3 August 2023:

E: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or  E:Hayley.Barr@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

T: 028 2563 3345 to find out more.

Manufacturing Academy – Electricians Aid

Join this two-week fully funded training programme.

This industry-led course will cover activities expected from an electrician’s aid to work along with or ahead of the electrician.

The course will cover areas such as:

  • Cabling – types, gauges, colours, looms etc.
  • Cable Routing – clips, conduits, protection sleeves, heat shrink, grommets, etc.
  • Terminations – crimping, soldering, etc.

Participants will also have the opportunity to complete employability skills in:

  • Applying for work - CV Building and Application Forms
  • Interview Skills – Interview Preparation and Mock Interviews
  • One to one mentoring is available throughout the programme.

Start Date – 4 September 2023

Location - Northern Regional College (Farm Lodge Campus)


  • Guaranteed job interview leading to potential employment.
  • College certificate
  • Links to further training programmes

Who can apply?

You must be over 16 years of age and living in the Mid and East Antrim areas. Preference will be given to those who are economically inactive, long-term unemployed or under-employed (working less than 16hours)


E: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

Upcoming events

Job Fair, Carrickfergus

Tuesday, 8 August 10am – 1pm, Jubilee Hall, Carrickfergus Town Hall.

Mid and East Antrim’s Labour Market Partnership are hosting a Jobs Fair to help support local talent from across Mid and East Antrim who are either faced with redundancy or seeking out new career opportunities.

Find out more about job opportunities and careers with a range of employers from across NI and improve your employment prospects with practical advice and support.

If you require an interpreter, please let us know in advance of the event by contacting us via:

Phone: 028 2563 3345

Email: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk