Junior Ministers Jennifer McCann and Jonathan Bell visited Derry today to meet families benefitting from the Community Family Support Delivering Social Change Signature Programme.
Forty-eight families in the North West area are currently enrolled on the Community Family Support Programme.
During the 26 week programme, families have help accessing employment advice, support and skills.
Family members can also access accredited training courses.
Following the visit at the Shared Future Centre in Irish Street, Ms McCann said by listening to the families involved it was clear the programme was making a “real difference” and improving the lives of people as they dealt with health, social and economic issues.
She added: “Delivering Social Change is about government departments working together in partnership with the community and voluntary sector.
“The Community Family Support Programmes being delivered by organisations in the heart of the community demonstrates our commitment to work with the community to make change happen.”
Mr Bell said reducing unemployment, in particular youth unemployment, continued to be a priority for the Executive.
He added: This 26 week programme provides families with employment advice and associated skills – all of which are crucial in the current economic climate.
“It has been great to hear about how families have been able to complete accredited training courses and work placements as part of the initiative, as well as the other services they have been able to avail of through the Community Family Support Programme.”
Many participants of the pilot programme have completed accredited training courses as well as benefitting from employment or work experience.
The Community Family Support Programme is an initiative from the Department for Employment and Learning’s “Pathways to Success” Strategy.
It aims to support parents and prevent younger family members from falling into the Not in Employment, Education or Training category.
The Community Family Support Programme was piloted with 44 families from January to June 2013, 12 of the families were from Strabane.
Through the delivery of targeted support, a number of participants from the pilot have already undertaken training courses, work placements or moved into employment. Customized Training Services in partnership with Barnardo’s are delivering the Community Family Support Programme in the North West area.