The Ballymun Job Centre (BJC) was established in 1986 as a community response to a chronic unemployment situation. Since opening, the BJC has adapted to changes in the environment in order to respond more effectively to the needs of the community. A voluntary organisation with charitable status, the BJC has a proven track record of providing quality and innovative services.
- The Ballymun Job Centre (BJC) was established in 1986 as a community response to a chronic unemployment situation
- Since opening, the BJC has adapted to changes in the environment in order to respond more effectively to the needs of the community
- A voluntary organisation with charitable status, the BJC has a proven track record of providing quality and innovative services
- The BJC is a central landmark in the Ballymun community operating from the local shopping centre
In 1986 when the BJC was established, Ireland and the community in Ballymun faced serious social, personal and family situations that challenged the very fabric of our community. One of the main problems faced by the country and the community was high levels of unemployment. During the period of the “Celtic Tiger” the community experienced some positive changes, unemployment fell to an all-time low, the regeneration of the area started and the area began to attract employers, providing local employment opportunities. The last few years have seen dramatic changes in Ireland’s economic position. As a result unemployment is again a major challenge for the country and the Ballymun community.
The BJC is very well placed to meet this challenge. In doing so we will continue to develop and work in partnership with our staff, the clients, local community, employers and individuals in other agencies and organisations.
Ballymun, located on the north side of Dublin City, was built as part of a large public housing scheme by Dublin City Council in the 1960’s and early 1970’s in response to the significant housing shortages in the city at the time. Intended as a ‘state-of-the-art’ and modern town, the scheme saw the construction of 2,814 flats in a series of 36 – 4, 8 and 15 story tower blocks – the first and only tower block scheme of its kind in Ireland – along with a further 2,400 houses, all within a 1.5 square mile radius. Over the years a lack of investment in the physical and social infrastructure of the area resulted in a significant degeneration of Ballymun’s physical environment, and the rise of serious social and economic disadvantage in the area. In 1996, a decision was made to demolish the high-rise tower blocks and replace them with low-rise housing. Ballymun Regeneration Ltd was set up by Dublin City Council and charged with the task of regenerating the physical, infrastructure of the entire area. The four EDs of Ballymun A, B, C, and D have a total population of 17,714 (7,599 households) – a 9.1% population increase compared with the 2011 population (which was 16,236). The population in the area around Poppintree Park Lane, Belclare and Parkview (Ballymun A ED) increased in this time by 29%. Based on 2016 Census data, the HP relative deprivation index classification for the four electoral districts ranges from disadvantaged (for the EDs Ballymun, B, C and D) to marginally below average (Ballymun A). The percentage of the population living in local authority housing in Ballymun EDs of A, B, C and D far exceeds the state average of 9.4%, and the majority of the population in B and D electoral divisions live in local authority housing. This is outlined in Table 3.1 below.
Table 3.1 % of the Ballymun living in local authority housing (census 2016)
Ballymun EDs – % living in local authority housing
- A 22.7%
- B 57.8%
- C 41.5%
- D 63.2%
- E 0.635
- F 0.57%
- State 9.45%
The HP Pobal Relative Deprivation index provides a method of measuring the relative affluence or disadvantage of a particular geographical area using data compiled from various censuses. A score is given to the area based on a national average of zero and ranging from approximately -40 (being the most disadvantaged) to +40 (being the most affluent. These EDs include the more affluent areas of Glasnevin in the south of the area.
Balbriggan, in County Fingal comprises two EDs (Balbriggan Rural and Balbriggan Urban), with a combined population of 24,611 in 2016, an increase of 8.4% compared with 2011 (which was 22,695). The Balbriggan area (both EDs) are categorised as marginally below average on the HP Pobal relative deprivation index. The local authority housing occpancy of households in Balbriggan is above the national average in Balbriggan rural ED and slightly below it in Balbriggan urban.
Table 3.2 % of the population living in local authority housing Balbriggan and state (census 2016)
Balbriggan Bal rural Bal urban State % living in local authority housing
- Rural 12.51%
- Urban 8.97%
- State 9.4%
It is difficult to get a clear picture of labour market trends at a local level as there is no local system of measurement. Unemployment is measured by Quarterly National Household Survey (NQHS). The only source at a local level is the Live Register. The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment as it includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers entitled to unemployment payments. The Live Register does not paint the full picture of unemployment in Ballymun. Ballymun has a large number of single parent family units, 49.3% of all family units are single parent family units. Unemployed single parents are not counted on the Live Register. Also individuals in receipt of a disability payment are not counted on the Live Register together with young unemployed (under 18).
In March 2000 a local labour force survey put the percentage of Unemployed at 58.4% higher than the Live Register. Between December 2007 and December 2009 the LR increased by 103%. A range of factors contribute to the higher levels of unemployment in Ballymun when compared to the National figures.
These include the high prevalence of low educational qualifications and the dominance of unskilled and semi-skilled manual occupational backgrounds. This highlights the importance of providing relevant education and training provision for job seekers in Ballymun. Addressing the labour market needs of individuals will require long-term strategies and actions that have the capacity to increase the skill levels of individuals in Ballymun in order to enable them to compete for employment which is more sustainable and provides, in the long-term, the possibility of higher income levels. It is very important to remember that, behind the statistics, there are individuals seeking to improve their own lives and those of their families in an area which, in terms of employment, still has some way to go before it reflects national norms. The regeneration of Ballymun provides an ideal opportunity to improve the employment prospects of individuals in Ballymun. Resources must be made available to attract in quality employment and that access to appropriate education, training and other supports is made available.
The population of the Ballymun area is 16,236 of which 16.6% are 15 to 24 (Source, Irish CSO 2011)
• High number of single parents (approx. 2,100 / 18% of individuals over 15 / 49.3% of all family units) (Source, CSO 2011)
• Low level of educational attainment and low income
• Ballymun: High Unemployment Low levels of Education
National = 57% Dublin = 58% Ballymun = 44%
National = 19% Dublin = 18% Ballymun = 36%
National = 14% Dublin = 10% Ballymun = 21%
Highest level of educational attainment (Source, CSO 2011)
Lower Secondary or less: National = 32% Ballymun = 49%
Degree or Higher levels : National = 25% Ballymun = 9%
our governance and quality systems
The Ballymun Job Centre has in place a number of processes to support the governance of the organisation. The processes are intended to provide confidence to the various stakeholders (Board, staff, funders, clients and the public) regarding the management of the organisation and in particular the use of state, EU and private funding which are used to deliver the range of services and projects provided by the BJC.
As a legally constituted co-operative the BJC is governed by a book of rules. The rules provide the framework for how and why the BJC operates. The rules outline its mission, values, role of the Board and its officers, the management structures, its legal obligations and how it should conduct its business.
The Board members of the BJC are volunteers. The BJC believes it is important to support individuals who give freely of their own time to make an important contribution to the work of the BJC. The BJC has a handbook that provides guidelines to the members of regarding their duties and responsibilities.
The BJC manages money on behalf of Irish and EU tax payers and private bodies. It is important that it manages the funding in a competent, transparent and productive manner. The finances of the BJC are audited by an independent auditor. As a co-operative the BJC submits its annual accounts and a completed AR15 Form to the Companies Registration Office (CRO). Since its establishment in 1986 the BJC has submitted annual return to the CRO. These are available from the CRO. A copy of the BJC 2021 audited accounts are available here .
The BJC has a range of policies and procedures that provide guidelines and framework for the Board, Management and staff in the day to day operation of the services and projects. These include policies and procedures on finance, service provision, IT usage, equality and diversity, ethical behaviour, health and safety, work place and employment legislation, performance system, etc.
The BJC outlines all of these in its staff handbook. All of these form part of the BJC quality framework. These are independently audited in order to achieve the Q mark quality standard. More details on the Q mark standard can be found here.
The Q mark assesses an organisation across five areas, Leadership and Commitment, Employee Engagement, Excellent Business Systems and Process, Customer Experience and Results. In 2018 the BJC achieved a QMS percentage score of 79%. This compares to a QMS average percentage score of 74%, a high of 93% and a low of 55%. The BJC is due to be assessed to renew our QMark Standard in 2020.
Funding for the BJC labour market services and activities comes from a variety of different sources. The service is made up of a number of different inter-related elements. Each of the separately funded services, projects and activities are linked to form a seamless service to the client.
Between 1996 and August 2022 the BJC has managed the Local Employment Service Network (LESN) under contract from the Department of Social Protection (DSP).
Our Goals & Objectives
- Increase employability by supporting clients to develop their employment related skills, education and abilities
- Increase individual’s labour market choices and earning potential from employment thus reducing their vulnerability to poverty
- Maximise employment, education or training opportunities for local people
- Develop innovative approaches in response to identified labour market needs and issues
- Co-operate with and foster co-operation between organisations and agencies at European, National and local level
- Provide an information, registration, career guidance, placement and support service for job seekers and changers
- Develop relationships with and provide support to employers
- Provide for the implementation and development of training and education programmes
- Provide for the implementation and development of special innovative programmes and research
- Continue to develop and implement quality assurance systems for all services
- Ensure the continuous involvement of BJC staff in the development of the services
- Market and promote the work of the BJC effectively
- Source and effectively manage the necessary resources (human, capital and financial)
- Consolidate and further develop Partnerships with others
- Increase the number of job opportunities in the area
- Increase the links with the schools and families.
SEAMLESS SERVICE FOR JOB SEEKERS
Funding for the BJC labour market services and activities comes from a variety of different sources. The service is made up of a number of different and inter-related elements. Each of the separately funded services, projects and activities are linked to form a seamless service to the clients. Between 1996 and August 2022 the BJC has managed the Local Employment Service Network (LESN) on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP). See publications for a copy of our Strategic Plan 2019-2022