Jobs, Education & Training

The purpose of the JET project is to provide a Community Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Project which targets groups experiencing significant employment gaps

This can be people with disabilities and health conditions, lone parents and other disadvantaged parents, older workers, young people not in education, employment or training, women and people with no or low qualifications, and other disadvantaged groups, including people experiencing multiple disadvantage.


A key objective of the JET project is to build local skills and match them to future employment opportunities.

The project will also contribute to productivity, enterprise and competitiveness at a local level by raising the skills levels of the workforce through lifelong employment & learning opportunities. The project aims to tackle the problem of long term unemployment which has a detrimental impact on the individual and the local environment. Some skills areas include:

  • Construction skills registration
  • Health and social care diploma
  • Children’s care, learning and development diploma
  • Trowel occupations
  • Wood occupations
  • Mechanics
  • ECDL
  • Driving theory
  • Essential skills, literacy, numeracy, ICT
  • Off shore survival training
  • Door supervisor training
  • Level 3 assessing qualifications
  • HGV heavy goods licence
  • PSV licence
  • Forklift licence
  • Telehandler licence
  • Slings banksman training
  • Overhead crane operator’s licence

Some of the success stories from the JET Project

Kathleen Williams: My Time at Tullymore

I started going to Tullymore Community Centre back in 2007.  I began with an essential skills literacy class with Sharon, the essential skills tutor. It was the first time I had been involved in education since I left school in 1983. I’d left with no qualifications, which I always regretted. One morning, after leaving my youngest child to school, I decided to pop in to Tullymore to see what sort of courses they had on offer. My ultimate aim was to go to Art College but I knew I had to get the basics, especially in English, if I was ever to get a place.

I was assessed in English and started my Entry 3 qualification. When I achieved this after a few months I was delighted to get that far and it gave me the confidence to go on to the next step which was level one. Again, after a few months, and a lot of hard work, I achieved this level also. After the summer, I came back to Sharon and completed my Level II. I knew this was the most important qualification as it was the GCSE equivalent and might help me get into Art College. After about 7 months, I got my qualification and was over the moon. This was a big achievement for me and something I never thought I could do.

I was then able to apply to BMC to do a National Diploma in Art and design. This was a two year course and would, hopefully allow me to apply to Art College. At the same time, I came back to UACF to do my maths with Sharon. I completed my Diploma, in which I got 3 distinctions and was delighted. Again, I didn’t think I would have gotten this far and the time flew in! I was on my way to achieving my ultimate goal.

I had to start developing a portfolio of my art work and applied for Art College last year. Over 500 people applied for just 140 places and I was delighted to be offered a place at foundation level which leads to a degree in Fine and Applied Art.

I am really enjoying my degree. It is hard work and time consuming, particularly as I have a family to look after. However, it has been well worth it and I am grateful to UACF as they gave me the basic skills and confidence to believe in myself and realise my potential. I always thought I was stupid but the staff in Tullymore are so supportive and really helped improve my self-esteem. I would encourage anyone in the local community who is thinking about improving their education or who has a passion about something to take the plunge and come to UACF where there are great staff and a variety of courses to suit everyone. They look after their students very well and will help you every step of the way. Thanks to Tullymore, I am now well on my way to achieving my ultimate goal of gaining a degree in art and hopefully employment in the field of art and design or textiles at some point in the near future. I have inspired my family and my friends and hope that this piece will inspire some of you to come back to education.

I was so frightened coming through the doors of Tullymore Community Centre – I didn’t know what to expect. I had bad experiences of school and had always been made to feel stupid. However, Sharon made me feel so welcome and Tullymore has a lovely, informal, family atmosphere and it wasn’t like school at all. It made such an impact on my life that I brought my lovely daughter Beth along to do some classes. She is quite shy and was very nervous but after an hour she felt relaxed, confident and at home! Making a start in Tullymore is the best thing I have ever done and without it I would still be at home fluffing my cushions! Good luck!

Brian’s Story

Brian Cassidy’s story is an all too common one in West Belfast in recent years- a builder by trade since leaving school, he found himself unemployed and without means of financial support when the construction business began to slump and the work dried up. However, rather than dwell on his misfortunes, with the help of the Jobs, Education and Training (J.E.T.) Programme run through Tullymore Community Centre, he used it as an opportunity to better himself and gain a permanent, practical qualification that would enable him to re-join the workforce and begin providing for his family again.

As Brian was self-employed, he wasn’t receiving any financial assistance from the Social Services, and it was while speaking to an advisor in the Benefits office about his career options that he was informed about the J.E.T. Programme and referred up to Tullymore. After hearing about the possibility of a friend having a vacancy in his company, and through hearing that the J.E.T. Programme had previously provided funding for other applicants looking to gain training in the same area, he decided that he wanted to apply for his HGV license. Even though the J.E.T. Programme had recently decided to suspend all funding for HGV training due to the poor pass rate of previous participants, through the intervention and invaluable support of the head of the Programme, Annette Bennett, and by offering to contribute 10% toward the cost of the training, Brian was able to convince the funding body of his determination to pass, and of his willingness to put the effort in and justify the investment in him.

Once he’d received the funding for the training, and undergone the necessary police check and medical, Brian set about tackling the tests and training itself. He found that passing each of the 5 tests was quite difficult and he could understand why others had tried and failed before him, but he was determined to succeed and make the most of the fantastic opportunity he’d been afforded, and after months of hard work he was rewarded by finally receiving his HGV license.

As Brian himself says, “I can’t praise the J.E.T. Programme and Annette enough for all of the first-rate help and advice I received. I fully recommend the scheme to anyone that’s been out of work, or is looking to diversify a little bit and add another string to their bow. Thanks to the support I received my career prospects are now excellent, and I’m delighted I was able to repay the faith shown in me by Annette and the funding board.”

Emmet’s Story

Five years ago Emmet had completed his level 2 qualification in bricklaying and although he had excelled in his trade and had held a very successful placement in the Titanic Quarter he found that he could not get employment without a level 3 qualification. He was told that there was no funding for a level 3 for him. Emmet has a fantastic work ethic, travelled some distance to college every day and desperately wanted to work and not sign on for Benefits like many of his friends. JET funding paid for Emmet to complete his level 3 qualification. As a result of the placement that he undertook during this qualification he was offered full time employment at the end with a local contractor.

However Emmet’s bricklaying skills are not his only strength and he has fantastic people skills and a unique ability to work with young people particularly those with special needs. As a result of this Bailie Connor Training Organisation offered Emmet an opportunity to train as a tutor in the tech. Emmet is currently employed with Bailie Connor full time and has achieved his NVQ Assessors award – it is worth pointing out that Emmet also has severe dyslexia. Emmet is leaving for Australia for a “year out” and he will use his level 3 qualification to gain work while he is there.