Our Fair Chance programme is a good relations and employability programme designed for 16-24 year olds from Belfast, Lisburn, Lurgan and Portadown.
We work with a range of partners including Resurgam Trust, Clonard Youth Centre, Monkstown Boxing Club, Colin Glen Trust and Scotch Street Youth Club to deliver a programme that aims to build positive and lasting relationships between young people from different communities.
The programme’s objective is to increase participant’s understanding and appreciation of diversity, as well as developing their skills in a variety of work related areas. In fact the young people are encouraged to participate in the design of programme content and influence the direction of their programme.
While on the programme young people participate in a variety of employability, personal development and good relations themed workshops as well as overnight residentials.
Their opportunities for employment are increased through meeting potential employers, engagement in employability ‘taster’ sessions designed to increase young people’s skills across a range of areas and they receive support with CVs, job applications and interview skills as well as work related training
Another core element of the programme is to promote awareness and understanding of diversity, therefore built into each programme is a series of workshops to explore these themes including the completion of an accredited OCN Level 2 in Diversity and Good Relations looking at issues of prejudice and discrimination as well as the benefits of a diverse and inclusive society.
They learn about different cultures and traditions through workshops facilitated by local groups, including people from the Polish and Chinese communities as well as workshops on Irish culture and Marching Bands. These provide a space for young people to ask questions and explore themes of diversity.
Throughout the programme young people are encouraged to set goals, participate in workshops and challenge themselves. With the support of programme staff and mentors young people leaving the programme have demonstrated a deeper appreciation for diversity and increased capacity for securing employment opportunities.
The Fair Chance Programme is funded through OFMDFM.