Director, Citywide Employers’ Forum, Education & Jobs

Deirdre is responsible for the ‘Citywide Employers’ Forum’, an initiative which assists in up-skilling the unemployed, with a view to moving them into sustained employment.

Initially established in 2003, the Employers’ Forum focused on assisting marginalized individuals from the West Belfast and Greater Shankill areas; with the support of Bombardier (Belfast) it vastly increased business engagement in these deprived areas and moved over 1,000 persons into jobs. Subsequently this successful model was adopted in the North West region. In 2012 the Forum was extended to operate across Greater Belfast, as the ‘Citywide Employers’ Forum’, recognising that the private sector has a leading role to play, both as a generator of jobs and as a provider of support to individuals who struggle to achieve sustainable employment. The Forum delivers a wide range of employment programmes, which identify individuals’ skill needs and build individual capabilities.

Deirdre also works with ten Business in the Community member companies, to assist them in developing their CR strategies.