Building an Inclusive Labour Market: The Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector

Hosted by NICVA and Labour Market Partnerships on Wednesday 12 June 2024, 9:45am - 3:30pmStormont Hotel, Belfast

In an inclusive labour market, everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has equal access to employment opportunities and fair treatment. It's about breaking down barriers and creating environments where diversity is valued and celebrated. An inclusive labour market not only fosters innovation and boosts productivity, but also plays a vital role in driving economic development.

This event will unite policymakers and leaders in project delivery to explore the key role of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in creating such an environment. Together, we'll delve into the impact and the critical role of the VCS and discuss strategies for enhancing inclusivity to build a stronger, more equitable society and contribute to NI’s economic growth.

Your insight, expertise and views will be essential to ensuring that key considerations, issues and opportunities are heard, and inform and influence future delivery approaches.

It’s important that we have commitment from professionals, policymakers, and experts from the employability and skills ecosystem – including you – to discuss and instigate actions which can address inequalities, and champion inclusive employment.

We need your expertise to help stimulate an informed discussion on the need for, and value of, creating a more inclusive labour market.

Please register your attendance by 5pm on Thursday 6 June. 

Full details on the programme and speakers will be published in due course.



Conference Registration



  • 12/06/2024
    09:45 - 10:00

    Registration and Networking

    10:00 - 10:05


    The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Micky Murray

    10:05 - 10:10

    Context and overview – setting the scene

    John Campbell BBC NI Economics and Business Editor

    10:10 - 10:20

    The Role of the Voluntary and Community sector in building an inclusive labour market

    Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons MLA

    10:20 - 10:30

    The Role of the Vol and Community sector in supporting pathways to employment – Minister of Economy

    Conor Murphy MLA

    10:45 - 10:50

    Introducing voices from the sector

    John Campbell

    11:35 - 11:45

    Comfort Break

    11:45 - 12:15

    Working with and for people with disabilities and health conditions

    Workable (NI)


    Cedar Foundation


    12:15 - 12:45

    Engaging and delivering in communities

    Success North West

    Employ Me

    Belfast Works Connect

    12:45 - 13:00

    Reflections - John Campbell

    13:00 - 13:45

    Lunch Break

    13:45 - 14:45

    Workshops: Building an inclusive labour market, creating the strategic vision.

    14:45 - 15:15

    Panel Discussion: Breaking down the challenges and making the most of the opportunities

    Presented by:

    Geraldine McGahey OBE, Chief Commissioner Equality Commission NI

    Dr Lisa Wilson, Nevin Economic Research Institute, Independent expert for Minister for Economy

    David Babington, CEO, Action Mental Health

    Jonathan McMurray, Data & AI consultant with Microsoft

    15:15 - 15:30

    Next Steps and Closing Remarks

Stormont Hotel Belfast

Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3LP

Contact the Organiser