Apollo Project

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The purpose of the Apollo Project is to increase the employability and thus reduce the economic inactivity rates of residents within Triax and other Neighbourhood Renewal areas in Derry. The Project will work exclusively with a cross section of groups experiencing significant employment gaps i.e. lone parents and other disadvantaged parents; people with disabilities and health conditions; older workers; young people not in education, employment and training; women and people with no or low qualifications.It will examine barriers to their participation in the labour market and adopt innovative practices to alleviate these barriers and promote social inclusion.

The primary objective of the Apollo Project will be to move participants towards, and into, the labour market. Project activities will incorporate a combination of personal development, confidence-building, team-working, and practical skills through active participation in the arts, in order to boost motivation and aspiration levels of participants. Apollo will create a tailored approach, which will connect training and work experience to real labour market conditions, whilst developing “soft” employability and generic skills. It will provide an innovative package of support, individually tailored and flexibly delivered, which will take action to sustain employment, maintaining stable and longer-term employment trajectories.

Project Activity

The project will recruit 30 people from Triax and other Neighbourhood Renewal areas of Derry to participate in an innovative one-year training programme to increase essential skills and confidence of groups experiencing significant employment gaps. Supported by tutors and mentors, participants will use the medium of art to aid the development of interpersonal and practical skills and provide an innovative motivational tool.  The project will:

  • Actively recruit a cross section of target groups as specified above;
  • Undertake detailed needs assessment with each participant to highlight barriers to training/employment, social problems, family and social circumstances;
  • Provide a personalised action plan for each participant, to include realistic targets;
  • Assign each participant a contact mentor to provide support, advice and guidance;
  • Provide a series of pre-vocational and soft skills training through art-based initiatives to include: sculpture, ceramics, banner making, mask making, mural production, float construction;
  • Provide digital literacy and work based ITC work sampling through FIT NI;
  • Increase literacy and numeracy of participants through the use of traditional training and an arts-based approach i.e. literacy through story writing, play reviews etc;
  • Develop links with employers to identify individual employer’s recruitment needs and secure suitable work sampling opportunities for participants through Business in The Community;
  • Provide employability training i.e. job search skills, CV writing, information on recruitment processes and interview skills
  • Provide advice and support for self-employment and business creation through a series of Entrepreneurship Workshops;
  • Develop links with policy-makers to feed project learning into mainstream activities and employment initiatives;
  • Work both Trans-nationally and Inter-regionally to share information, experiences, results and good practice

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