Job Directions Ltd was established 1995 as Strabane and District Community Work Programme, in 2010 we changed our name to Job Directions to better reflect what we do.  Click here to view our past programmes.

Job Directions provides individuals with, advice, support, training and work experience opportunities which enhance their prospects of securing employment in a job they want.

Job Directions is a registered charity with the Charity Commission Northern Ireland, registration number NIC102829

Our Mission Statement

“To enable individuals to secure employment in a job that matches, their needs, aspirations and abilities”.

Meet The Team

Our Team, Your Success. Meet the Team Guiding Your Path to Employment.

Niall Allen


Niall has over 30 years experience within the employment & employability field. Managing programmes designed by government departments, hitting the set targets & making those programmes work for individuals. Niall has also worked with various stakeholders to develop bespoke programmes to address identified needs, he has secured funding for these programmes and successfully implemented them.

Pauline McLaughlin


Pauline has more than 16 years experience within the employability area! A significant amount of which has been dedicated to supporting individuals with health conditions and disabilities. Pauline loves to get to know the individual. working with them to decide what’s best for them & supporting them in achieving their desired outcome.

Fiona McDaid


Fiona has worked for Job Directions since 2007, Fiona’s niche is in supporting parents and carers to fit paid employment into their already busy lives.  Fiona has developed excellent knowledge in work benefits and expertise in assessing individuals financial circumstances if they take a particular job.

Deirdre Breslin


Deidre has worked for Job Directions for more than 16 years, more than half of that time has been spent supporting young people aged under 25.  Deidre has an empathy for young people and understands the particular barriers they face in making the transition from education to employment.

Rachel McLaughlin


Rachel has worked for Job Directions since 2018 assisting customers from a range of backgrounds with a focus on those who are ready to work.  Rachel has developed excellent links with local employers which enable her to progress those customers who are more job ready quickly into employment that suits their skills, abilities and level of work experience.

Chelsea Harron


Chelsea is the creative one in Job Directions, she creates and posts all our employment and training related social media content.  As well as researching suitable content, Chelsea also works with local employers to create job adverts for them in order that they can attract suitable candidates for their job vacancies.


For more than 25 years Job Directions has supported individuals seeking employment, we strive to provide the right support to each individual, we adapt what we do to what their needs are.

Our funders have changed, the names of the programmes we offer have changed, the economic environment in which we operate has changed the constant has always ne been Job Directions focuses on the individual and finding the right pathway forward for them.

Programmes for individuals who are Unemployed, Economically Inactive Or Under Employed

Programmes for individuals with Health Conditions and people with a disability

Take a look at our timeline to see what we've done, who we've partnered with & what we've achieved ...


2023 - Present

Funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Lemis Northwest

2015 - 2023

Funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for the Economy. Designed by Job Directions and Derry Youth and Community Workshop.

Wee Job

2018 - 2023

Funded by the European Social Fund, the Department for the Economy and Derry Strabane District Council. Designed by Job Directions.



Funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for the Economy. Designed by Job Directions.


2015 - 2018

Designed & funded by Job Directions

52% employment rate

Able For Work

2011 - 2015

Funded by the European Social Fund, the Department for Employment and Learning and Strabane District Council.

Able for Work was designed to assist those with health conditions who claimed Incapacity Benefit or Employment Support Allowance to return to work on a part time basis whilst retaining their entitlement to benefits utilising “permitted work rules.”

Customers were able to get a 10 hour per week subsidised job in the community, public or private sector for a period of 26 weeks, they were supported prior to, during and after this subsidised employment in order that they could establish what work their health condition would permit them to do and to source such employment on an ongoing basis.

24% of those who completed Able for Work had an employment, 18 customers obtained employment and ceased claiming benefits, 17 customers obtained employment of less than 16 hours per week retaining their entitlement to health related benefits, 24% of customers had an employment outcome from their participation

Steps 2 Work

2008 - 2015

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Steps to Work was the Department for Employment and Learnings main employment programme, with various strands that offered alternative progression routes for different categories of customers. Job Directions was a subcontractor of the contact holder in the Western Region, South West College. Job Directions was involved in the delivery of a number of strands including, Back to Work, Step Ahead, Skills Development Programme, Essential Skills and First Start.

From April 2013 to September 2015 Job Directions achieved a 34% into employment rate, 101 employment outcomes from 294 customers who completed the programme.

Direct 2 Work

2013 - 2015

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Direct 2 Work was developed by Job Directions in consultation with the Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership as an innovative way of tackling the issue of youth unemployment. Direct 2 Work offered Young People not in work, education or training, support advice and mentoring regarding their job search under phase one and employers were offered a subsidy if they employed young person for a minimum 16 hours per week job under phase two.

Phase one achieved 9 employment outcomes without using the subsidy, phase two was availed of by 40 customers, 31 were still in employment after the period of subsidy had ended a 77% success rate

Doorstep Job Directions

2013 - 2015

Funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for Employment and Learning.

Doorstep Job Directions was an outreach service targeted at the Neighbourhood Renewal areas within the Strabane District, it was delivered in partnership with locally based community/voluntary sector organisations. In order to engage the hardest to help, employability services were located in local community centres in the most deprived areas, locally based organisations became active stakeholders, hosting the service, recruiting customers and making the service part of what they offered their community.

840 customers engaged with the Doorstep service, 154 progressed directly from the service into employment, 454 were referred to education, training or employment service of whom 162 moved into employment as a result of that engagement giving an overall employment rate of 37.6%

Jobs 1st

2007 - 2015

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Under the Local Employment Intermediary Service Lemis, Jobs 1st was the brand used to deliver the service in Strabane. Job Direction delivered Jobs 1st in partnership with Customized Training Services, each organisation providing an advice, guidance and mentoring service for eligible unemployed and economically inactive individuals living within the Strabane district. The aim of Jobs 1st was to support customers in order to enable them to progress into employment or into education or training which would enhance their employment prospects.

From 2013-2015 Jobs 1st engaged with 655 customers, 75 progressed to a Department for Employment and learning mainstream programme, 41 achieved short accredited qualification, 43 customers obtained employment of less than 16 hours per week and 125 progressed into employment of 16 hours per more per week. Customers who achieved an employment outcome made up 25.6% of the total customer caseload.

New Deal For Disabled People

2007 - 2011

Designed by Job Direction

Funded by the Department for Employment & Learning.

Work Preparation Programme

2008 - 2011

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Job Directions delivered this service to customers referred from 5 jobs and benefits offices, Foyle, Lisnagelvin, Strabane, Omagh and Fermanagh. Aimed at individuals claiming health related benefits, the programme offered intensive one to one support and the opportunity to avail of a work placement.

There were 507 referrals to the service from the various jobs and benefits offices, 265 customers availed of a work placement, 82 of whom progressed to employment or training after the work placement.

Progress 2 Work

2006 - 2011

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning

Progress2work provided focused employability advice, mentoring and support to those facing significant barriers to employment due to a history of alcohol or drug misuse, homelessness or having a criminal record. Job Directions delivered the service in the Western area covering, Limavady, Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Fermanagh. The programme was referral driven with customers being referred by specialist organisation who were already dealing with the customer’s life issues.

New Deal

1990 - 2008

New Deal was the Department for Employment and Learning’s main employability programme for those claiming Jobseekers Allowance, it contained various strands which were altered and enhanced over the years. Job Directions was a partner in a consortium originally headed by North West Regional College and then Rutledge Joblink which delivered the programme in the Strabane area.

Over the years there were 118 customers aged 18-24, 34 obtaining employment an employment rate of 28.8%. 244 customers aged 25+ availed of options offered by Job Directions, 41 obtaining employment an employment rate of 16.8%.

Able 2 Work

2007 - 2008

Funded by the Strabane Local Strategy Partnership.

Able2work was designed by Job Directions to assist those on Incapacity Benefit to return to work via temporary part time employment in the voluntary or social economy sector with associated training and one to one support.

29 customers took part in the programme, 8 obtaining employment of less than 16 hours per week after the programme, with a further 4 obtained employment of 16 hours per week or more after the programme, the overall employment rate was 41.3%.

Temporary Employment Programme

2003 - 2006

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning & managed by the Strabane Local Strategy Partnership.

After a competitive tender process conducted by the Strabane LSP, Job Directions was selected to implement this temporary employment programme across the Strabane district. Participants selected from the long term unemployed and economically inactive were able to gain up to 50 weeks paid employment via the programme whilst receiving ongoing support from Job Directions.

95 customers were employed via Step2work with 52% achieving an employment outcome from their participation.

Job Assist Centre

2003 - 2007

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Job Assist Centre was a one to one, advice guidance and mentoring service which focused on identifying a customer’s barriers to employment, planning actions to address those barriers & implementing those actions and reviewing progress. Customer could remain on the programme for as long as they felt they were making progress.

95 customers progressed directly into employment a further 45 customers progressed into employment following a training or educational intervention identified for them by the Job Assist Centre service.


2003 - 2007

Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Worktrack was targeted at the long term unemployed and economically inactive, allowing them to gain up to 26 weeks waged work experience. From 1999-2003 all work placements were in the community, voluntary or non profit sector. From 2003-2005 placements with private sector employers were permitted.

465 participants took part in the programme with 199 direct into employment outcomes giving an overall employment outcome of 42%. In the period 2003 to 2005 that rose to 57% employment outcomes.

Community Work Programme

1995 - 2000

Funded by the Training and Employment Agency. 

CMP was targeted at the long term unemployed, allowing them to gain up to 3 years work experience working with a community, voluntary or non profit organisation. Customers retained their entitlement to benefits and received a training premium and expenses.

370 customers took part. 50% of whom obtained an NVQ Level 2 or above qualification and 15% moved directly to employment. 

Job Directions Ltd was established in May 1995 operating as Strabane and District Community Work Programme until June 2010.

1995 - 2010

Get in touch today!

Call: 02871 383662

Email: niall@jobdirectionsni.com

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