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What is a Labour Market Partnership?

The Labour Market Partnership (LMP) is an approach developed by the Department for Communities in partnership with local councils.  The aim of a LMP is to improve employability outcomes and labour market conditions by working through a co-ordinated, collaborative and multi-agency partnership.

How will the Lisburn & Castlereagh LMP help me?

The Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council LMP brings together the necessary local knowledge and expertise from the business, public, community and voluntary sectors.

It aims to create new opportunities for residents who face particular challenges entering the labour market or improving their employment prospects. This will involve employers, training providers and community and voluntary organisations working together.  

Together we can:

  • improve labour market and employability conditions 
  • address the needs of local employers
  • support the current and future workforce

The objectives of the LMP are linked to the Lisburn & Castlereagh Community Plan.  It can be viewed by clicking here.

What has the Lisburn & Castlereagh LMP got planned?

We have created an action plan that will help address four themes within the labour market that are currently impacting opportunities for employment. They are:

Economic Inactivity

  • We want to re-engage people with the labour market
  • We want to help address barriers to employment
  • We want to support those with disabilities into employment
  • We want to encourage lifelong learning
  • We want to support skills development

Economic Shock

  • We want to address unemployment following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • We want to support newly unemployed people to transfer their existing skills and build new skills into new employment opportunities

Youth Unemployment

  • We want to encourage younger people into employment
  • We will provide industry taster courses
  • We will offer short term training linked to current work opportunities e.g. warehousing, forklift/ HGV licences, hospitality, CSR (Construction) training and digital skills

Underemployment and labour supply misalignment

  • Encourage employment to help advancing sectors grow
  • Encourage more jobs with higher gross weekly earnings to allow residents to work locally
  • Create better quality jobs that encourage career advancement​

To read the full action plan please click here

What programmes will be available?

Self - Employment Support Programme          

Are you unemployed or under-employed?  Do you have aspirations to run your own business but are unsure where to start?

The independence of running your own business can bring tremendous benefits. However, the process of setting up a business can be daunting.  Our Self-Employment Support Programme will provide you with a grant of up to £750 for the initial stages of setting up your business, along with critical skills and knowledge to venture into the self-employment marketplace. 

This opportunity is open to anybody within the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area who is currently unemployed or under-employed. 

The programme offers 8 weeks’ worth of one-to-one support to prepare you for the world of self-employment.  Mentoring and training support from professionals in the industry will allow you to explore your options, test ideas, write plans and start your business.

Topics covered will include marketing and social media training, financial planning, HMRC assistance, procurement and confidence building. 

Grants of up to £750 are available to you at the initial stages of starting your business to assist in the purchase of essential equipment to start your journey to self-employment. 

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply you must be:

  • Economically Inactive / Unemployed / Under Employed
  • A resident of the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area

Need some extra advice and guidance?

Please do not hesitate to contact our delivery agent Eamonn Cavlan from Tangible Consulting to arrange a consultation.  Eamonn can be contacted at

If you would like more information about the Labour Market Partnership or alternative programmes on offer please contact the Programmes Team at or Tel: 028 9244 7391.

Self-Employment Options for Prison Leavers      

This is to help people find a way out of the justice system and become self-employed or to start a business that will enable them to transform their lives. 

What will the programme involve?

  • business support to ex-offenders approaching release and help develop plans for self-employment
  • provision of the necessary tools required to improve self-confidence and belief on each participant’s journey to integrate back into society
  • a needs based training programme, including specialised one-to-one mentoring support and real work training e.g marketing and social media training, financial planning, HMRC assistance and presentation skills 

Grants of up to £500 will be available at the initial stages of starting a business to assist in the purchase of essential equipment to get the business up and running. The programme application process will be made available when the programme start date has been confirmed.

Thrive - An employability support programme for individuals with a disability.

This programme, is designed to help Lisburn & Castlereagh residents living with a disability or health-related conditions who are unemployed or under-employed, move towards employment or further education.  

What will the programme involve? 

Participants will work with a specialist mentor who will develop a bespoke action plan based on individual aspirations and training needs enabling participants to: 

  • build confidence 
  • gain support with CV’s, application forms and interviews 
  • gain work experience, vocational skills and accredited qualifications from Level 1-3 
  • progress into paid employment 

The opportunity to THRIVE and reach your full potential with FREE accredited training and personalised support to look for work and stay in work.  

Don’t let your current situation hold you back; our team of experienced coaches and trainers will be with you every step of the way. We will support you at your own pace with personal development, career planning and routes to employment.   

With job-ready accredited training included, we can support you into a new career. 

Training offered:

  • World Host Customer Service
  • Communication & Interview Skills
  • Health & Safety at Work
  • Mental Health Awareness

...and more!

You will also have the option of work placements and guaranteed job interviews with our partner employers across a range of industries and job types.  

So, if you are currently unemployed or underemployed due to a long-term health condition or barrier that you feel holds you back, get in in touch with us to find out how we can support you to thrive. 

Apply Today! 

Places are limited! To check if you meet the eligibility criteria, please contact Stepping Stones at 

Closing date to register is 5.00pm Friday 8 December 2023. 

Need some extra advice and guidance? 

If you would like more information about the Labour Market Partnership or alternative programmes on offer please contact the Programmes Team at or Tel: 028 9244 7391.

Economic Inactivity – Into Employment

It is our key ambition to reduce the local economic inactivity, help those in deprived areas and under-represented groups gain employment and improve the skills of those who are currently unemployed.

What will the programme involve?

It aims to provide relevant support and training for those who are unemployed through:

  • improving employability of all participants
  • working with a specialist mentor to develop a bespoke action plan on the pathway into employment
  • Tailored bespoke training and support for each participant to:
  • enhance skills
  • build confidence
  • gain work experience, vocational skills and accredited qualifications from Level 1-3
  • progress into paid employment

The application process is currently closed but anticipated applications for the 2023-24 Action Plan will be in the coming months.

Need some extra advice and guidance?

If you would like more information about the Labour Market Partnership or other council programmes available, please email the Programmes Team at or call 028 9244 7615.