WOMEN’STEC, as the lead partner alongside GLOW NI and Shankill Women’s Centre is today celebrating after being awarded almost £500,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with women in the community. The groups, based in North and West Belfast will use the cash to provide formal and informal training for women, as well as personalized support to meet their specific needs such as job, CV and interview skills support as well as personal development.
WOMEN’STEC has been running since 1998 and has 12 staff members. It was founded by a group of women after they realised that there was a scope for women to be empowered by learning non-traditional skills and gain access to industries where women are typically under-represented.
The group now runs a series of courses and programmes in carpentry, plumbing, electrics tiling and more as well as softer skills such as CV and interview preparation. These courses can be accredited, improving employability for women and they also weave in confidence-building and resilience through every course.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see WOMEN’STEC establish the #Connect4Women programme in collaboration with GLOW NI and Shankill Women’s Centre over the next five years.
The project offers women from across Northern Ireland, the opportunity to undertake formal and informal learning through short courses, workshops and personalised support. The programme adopts a person-centred approach, enabling each woman to design a clear pathway through the programme based on their specific needs and aspirations such as job, CV and interview skills support. The group will run 24 advice workshops, 40 job seekers support workshops, 6 softer workshops and 4 short courses.
Lynn Carvill, Chief Executive of WOMEN’STEC says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to make a huge difference to the women in our community who are in need of support, training and a step up into the workplace.