Council officially launches ASPIRE Programme

Published: 9th May 2016

The ASPIRE Employability Programme, which commenced in April 2105, was officially launched by the Vice Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Paul Robinson at a recent event held in the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh.   The three-year programme, which is delivered in a partnership between the Council and the Western Health & Social Care Trust,  aims to support people into paid employment and is targeted at anyone aged 16 years and over who is currently unemployed or economically inactive and is seeking employment.  Potential participants could include school leavers, parents returning to work, anyone who has recently been made redundant and those who are longer term unemployed.

The Programme takes a person-centred approach, guided by a range of specialist staff and offers participants a bespoke package of qualifications and training opportunities, matched with a preferred work placement, to develop up-to-date skills and experience.  Participants can also avail of employability boosters such as CV development, interview skills, and job search facilities.

The Programme is being delivered by a 12 strong Team that operates across the Council area with offices based in Omagh and Enniskillen and is expected to support 800 participants over the 3-year period.

Speaking at the event Councillor Robinson paid tribute to the Council’s long- standing role of supporting the people of the district into employment, and he welcomed the new initiative ‘Access to Success, Progression, Inclusion, Recognition and Employment’ operating under the acronym ASPIRE.

“The ASPIRE programme offers employers the opportunity to redress the apparent skills shortage in the area by providing the local workforce with opportunities to gain practical experience in a workplace setting.  Employers have contributed to the development of the programme, by building a highly skilled and motivated workforce which is very well equipped to meet the local needs”, he added.

Alison McCullagh, Director of Regeneration and Planning with the Council, remarked on the achievements of the programme to date highlighting that 59% of those who have already completed the programme have secured paid employment.

The ASPIRE Programme includes a unique Health & Wellbeing element for those participants who may require additional support.  Speaking on behalf of the Western Trust Stephen Donnelly, said that ‘this element of the Programme sets it apart from other employability programmes’ and he applauded everyone involved.

The ASPIRE Programme is part funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for Employment and Learning and operates in partnership with the Western Health & Social Care Trust, the Education Authority for the Western Region and delivery partner Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative.

If you would like to find out more about the ASPIRE Programme, you can speak to a member of staff by contacting the Omagh office on 028 8224 6535 or the Enniskillen office on 028 6632 6478.  The offices are open Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm or you can access information online at



For further information please contact:
Elizabeth Harkin, tel: 0300 303 1777 or email; or Niamh Mulrine, tel: 028 8224 6535 or email;

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