Occupation: Manager at Community Job Assist Centres
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Place of Birth: Belfast
Where you live: Woodvale, Greater Shankill
First Job: Health and social education
What it taught me: That the community and voluntary sector have the ability to deliver a wide range of effective professional training and education and that the community is responsible for its own destiny
Name of spouse and children: Wife Melissa and
children Kian (11) and Jude (6)
Best advice anyone ever gave you: (Personal advice) Family is the most important thing in the world. (Professional advice) Listen, reflect and devise the answer that is correct for you
Best advice you could give someone starting out: Every person is unique and every situation likewise. Treat each person and situation on their individual merits and you will always make the decision that is best at that time
Gary McKay has worked in the community sector for 18 years within a range of capacities. For the past eight years he has been managing the community based Job Assist Centres delivering employability and employment to those deemed ‘furthest from’ the labour market within Greater Shankill.
Gary’s first post within a community setting was in 1994 working in peer education for Youth Speak and a young people’s health project, a cross community initiative which was well ahead of its time both politically and professionally.
Gary sits on the management board of Northern Ireland Alternatives, a unique, pioneering and hugely successful restorative justice organisation based throughout Northern Ireland, which he has been involved with since its inception in 1997.
From 1996 until 2000 Gary worked for the Forum for Action on Substance Abuse (FASA) as one its first three members of staff. FASA has grown significantly during this time and is now a thriving nationwide agency in whose success Gary hopes he has played some part. He has also worked for two years as a care worker within the juvenile justice sector at Lisnevin Juvenile Justice Centre in Millisle.
From 1997 until 2007 whilst working full time Gary studied at the University of Ulster achieving the following qualifications:
- Diploma in Youth and Community Work
- Degree in Youth and Community Work
- Post Grad Higher Diploma in Youth and Community Work
- Masters Degree in Youth and Community Work
He now hopes to add professional managerial qualifications to his CV.