Employment and Skills Support

Labour Market Partnership

MEALMP Action Plan    Transport Academy     

Enterprise Pathway   Future First Programme     Access All Areas   

CleanTech Hub     Classroom Assistant Academy     Restaurant Floor Academy     

Counterbalance Forklift Training     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

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

Future First Programme

Future First will give behind-the-scenes access to a range of local sectors for a pilot groups of young people (15-16) who are at risk of leaving education with no clear destination or becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Upcoming events will be held to support those seeking work to move into employment, training or education offering the opportunity for residents and young people to connect with employers and improve their knowledge of career pathways and opportunities.

Are you age 15-16?

Do you want to know more about your options for leaving school?

Do you want to see behind the scenes in exciting industries?

If you answered YES to any of the above then Future First is for you!  Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership and YMCA Larne are hosting an exciting program that will give you the skills and confidence to find the right path for you.

For further details contact Becca at YMCA Larne on rebecca@larneymca.org or call M: 07561 681 686

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.

Classroom Assistant Employment Academy

Starting February 2023, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is offering the opportunity to complete an intensive one week Classroom Assistant 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.

Restaurant Floor Academy

Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership and Hospitality Employers are offering residents the opportunity to develop their skills within Food Services by participating in our four week Restaurant Academy. This Level 2 qualification has been shaped by industry and is available for the first time in Northern Ireland. The Restaurant Academy will train 10 participants through this initiative over a 4 week period. All participants will be screened and employed from the start of the programme with a participating employer.


  • OCN Level 2 Award in Food Service.
  • An opportunity to improve your employability skills.
  • Paid employment for the duration of the academy.
  • One to one mentoring support for the duration of the programme.
  • Guaranteed interviews with local employers.

Location and Course Timetable

Galgorm Resort, Ballymena

Week Commencing 27 March 2023

The Restaurant Floor Academy will be delivered over 4 weeks and will consist of training via classroom, practical and remote learning.

Who can apply?

Mid and East Antrim residents aged 16 years and over who are economically

inactive, long-term unemployed or underemployed (typically working less than 16

hours) and also 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.

How to apply?

Email your contact details to: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or contact T: 028 2563 3345 to find out more. 

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’re interested in participating in this training opportunity, please register your interest by 5pm on Thursday, 16 March 2023 to: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or call T: 028 2563 3345 to find out more.

Upcoming events

Mid and East Antrim Rural Support Clinic

Join us at Whitehead Community Centre on Tuesday 21 March between 10am – 12pm for our FREE drop-in Rural Support Clinic to help provide support and guidance to those in rural areas across Mid & East Antrim.

There will be a number of support organisations in attendance including:

  • Employability and Skills organisations to assist anyone looking for work, wanting careers advice or thinking of learning a new skill; and
  • Advice and support services on benefits, housing and consumer issues.

Cancer Focus NI will also be in attendance offering free health assessments and advice tailored specifically to attendees via a pre-booked service.

The health checks can be completed quickly and each individual will be given bespoke advice on physical activity and nutrition in order to maintain or improve their results.

Please note, there are limited health check slots available, contact Danielle Gillan at T: 028 2563 3345 to book your space.

Come along and chat with our local organisations and ensure you are getting the best support available!

Employer Disability Awareness Workshop Event 

Recruiting and retaining staff is an ongoing challenge for many employers with the need for clarity around the support available. To ensure the world of work is inclusive and accessible to all, Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership in collaboration with Orchardville, is hosting a Disability Awareness Building Workshop for all organisations within the Borough.

Employers will have the opportunity to explore the challenges an employee with a learning disability or autism may encounter on a daily basis and learn more about reasonable adjustments that can be made within your organisation to ensure all employees thrive in the workplace.

Where: Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena
When: Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Time: 10am – 2pm

The training has been developed and will be delivered by participants of Orchardville who have lived experience.

Light refreshments will be served and we ask that you please advise us of any dietary requirements prior to the event.  For further information, please contact us via E: lmp@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or T: 028 2563 3345 

Visit the Eventbrite website to book your place.