European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Workforce Training Services - Get Connected 4

Get Connected is a programme provided by Workforce Training Services that targets young people aged 16 to 24 who are deemed NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and would like to enhance their employment opportunities. The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Participant's story

This participant joined the Get Connected programme after he left school. He was very quiet, lacked confidence in himself and noticeably tried to blend into the background of the groups, hoping he wouldn’t be asked to do anything for fear of not knowing.

Over the summer months, this all changed as he got involved in all aspects of the programme - going on activities, taking part in personal development and employability classes and sampling various job areas, including catering. He never missed a day of the programme, made lots of new friends and didn’t shy away in the background anymore.

Training for Success programme

The participant really enjoyed the catering and after attending a few sampling days, he decided he would enjoy doing this full time. He has now completed almost 11 months on the Training for Success Catering Programme and is thriving. He is successfully flourishing in his placement and has secured part-time work there. His confidence has greatly improved and although he has barriers to learning, he still attends classes and tries his best.

When asked about the Get Connected programme the participant states,

“It’s really good, it helped me a lot. You meet new people and go to places you would never dream of getting to. It has totally improved my confidence!”

His goals for the future are to be fully qualified with a full time job and “maybe one day have my own restaurant”.

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