|Participants on the 2012 Work Taster Programme|
Most employers hate sifting through CVs. It's just black and white text to them. There's no personal feeling or relationship with the person whose achievements and experience are listed within the pages.
What if you are from an area that the media has targeted as disadvantaged? Would you have the confidence to apply for a job?
A programme in Ballymun that provides the long-term unemployed with training and real working experience saw two of the eight participants in the pilot retained by their employer.
“The barriers now down, the employer has had the opportunity to meet with these people, rather than having a CV on their desk from a person in Ballymun, says Fiona Descoteaux.
“They see who the person is and what they can deliver. The participant can build up a relationship with the employer. It gives them a chance that they wouldn't have had before.”
The need for the programme grew out of necessity. The simple addition of a job placement at the end of a period of training has added an extra dimension to training courses.
“We'd been offering training programmes but we found while that the clients got something out of it, they then disappeared”, says Fiona
“We don't always have a continuous relationship with the individual, so we wanted to make sure that we provide the individual with training - gaining the skills that they require - and also with experience in terms of the work placement so the programme that we are running now is focusing on a training component as well as a job placement.”
Such was the pilot’s success that 60 people applied for the 2012 programme. 20 people were lucky enough to get places.
Participants undertake 300 hours of FETAC level 3 training, split equally between communication training, spreadsheets and word processing. IKEA was the only employer for the pilot project but 2012 participants will have more choice.
“The key is having employers involved who are interested in employing people in their local community”, says Fiona.
“If we are supporting someone to change their life even slightly, I think that's a fantastic achievement for the Partnership”, she added.