Helping break down barriers of unemployment


Ciara Balfour from Source who have a new office open in Enniskillen

THROUGH her work as a mentor, one local woman is helping people overcome serious obstacles to gain employment.

Ciara Balfour from Enniskillen is the SOURCE (Sourcing Opportunities by Understanding Real Challenges to Employment) employment mentor for Fermanagh District Council.


She is based upstairs in the FIND Centre, Quay Lane, Enniskillen.

The SOURCE initiative is part of the Local Employment Intermediary Service (LEMIS).

It provides tailored assistance to the long-term unemployed in order to help them find employment.

The programme is delivered by a community-based organisation, Network Personnel in a number of district council areas throughout Northern Ireland.

Ciara works one-to-one with clients offering support and guidance in helping them find employment.

In many cases, these people can have a  history of drug/alcohol misuse, are homeless, ex-offenders or are young people aged 16-24 not in education, employment or training.

She explained: “I help my clients with motivation and self-confidence building and help overcome barriers to employment through working together.


“We work through different employability skills, such as CV preparation, job searching and completing job applications as well as help and guidance with job interview techniques. I also can assist with Disclosure Statements for those who require it.”

She said many of her clients require training and, so, she and they work together on what training best suits their needs or job availability.

“Many clients then complete training with the ultimate goal of moving into employment. We offer an impartial and confidential service to help people to help them find a job that best suits their circumstances, skills and abilities.
“Our service is voluntary, person centred, flexible and puts the needs of the client first.”

Ciara believes that the service offered by SOURCE is vital as these people in the area who need employment, yet do not possess the necessary skills to acquire it.

“In the current economic climate”, she stated, “it is vital that we do all we can to help people find jobs and progress in the labour market.

“Through SOURCE, we specifically target those individuals in areas of most need and work with them to help them acquire new skills and find work.

“Myself and my colleagues work on an outreach basis, providing support for individuals of all ages with specific ‘employability barriers’.”

Anyone who is interested in the programme should contact Ciara on 07925226993 to arrange a meeting.

The voluntary service offers one to one confidential support.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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