As well as finding out more about the valuable work of AEL, Minister Murphy also learned how financial support from the Department has proved invaluable.
Support received through both the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme and the Dormant Accounts Fund was used to sustain the organisation during the challenges faced with Covid-19 as well as enabling it to focus on sustainability moving forward.
Minister Murphy said: “It was great to get the opportunity to visit AEL and get an insight into the impressive work they are doing there.
“This charity embodies the very best of the public, private and social sectors working together to provide disadvantaged people with the skills, experience, and confidence to find employment and it was very clear to me as I chatted to some of the trainees that the support they receive through the broad range of opportunities on offer is invaluable.
“It was also great to see how the charity has become an integral part of the local community in Larne.
“Chief Executive David Hunter and his team are doing incredible work and I am delighted that our Localised Restrictions Support Scheme has helped sustain them during these challenging times and that funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund will help increase both their capacity and sustainability moving forward,
“My visit also reaffirmed my belief that our new social value policy will ensure social enterprises like AEL are given the opportunities they deserve when it comes to bidding for public contracts as they have the skills and experience to deliver.”