Are you a Referral Agency?

Ready for Work is our employment programme for job seekers with high barriers to employment

Under Business in the Community Ireland’s Business Action on Employment, we run Ready for Work, our employment programme that provides work experience, training and guidance to people with high barriers to employment.

The people we support through our partnership with businesses face a range of barriers such as experiences of homelessness, addiction, time in prison or mental ill health.

You can refer a client using our application form, which you can download in the section below under ‘Making a referral’, or call the programme coordinator on 01 8743814 for more information.

Under Business Action on Employment we also run EPIC, our employment programme for immigrants which offers 6 weeks training, one to one guidance, opportunities for work experience and business supports. Further information on EPIC is here.

To date Ready for Work has impacted the lives of over 500 people. Close to 70% of those completing their work experience have since started working and almost all of the participants have said that the programme has increased their confidence and motivation for finding employment. 

We work with around 120 services to provide pathways towards work.

If you are in contact with people who are affected by homelessness, mental health or other barriers and are keen to return to work, you can refer them to us by sending in a completed application form:

Download the Employment Programme Application Form (PDF 0.3MB)

If your client has not yet been risk assessed by your organisation please also complete and send the risk assessment form:

Download our Risk Assessment Form (PDF 0.5MB)

Use our leaflet to talk to your client about this opportunity:

Download the Ready for Work Information Leaflet (PDF 0.4MB)

Potential participants attend an informal interview to assess whether they meet our criteria, i.e. are they motivated and ready for a return to work. We match selected candidates to a suitable work experience placement and organise an introductory meeting with the company. Those who aren’t selected are referred to appropriate alternative services.

Our pre-employment training module has been created specifically for marginalised groups and focuses on communication, building confidence, managing change plus CV preparation and mock interviews.

Participants’ skills and interests are matched as far as possible to work placements being offered by participating businesses. Placements are:

  • Supported – someone in the business acts as a ‘buddy’ to the participant for the 3/4  weeks to help them to ‘fit in’ and do the job, and our team are on call to deal with any issues that may arise
  • Part Time – part time hours are arranged to allow for child care and other appointments and to encourage participants to build a routine gradually
  • Monday – Friday – placements don’t include weekends. During week days our team are available to support participants and businesses
  • Unwaged – so that there is no interruption to social welfare payments for participants while on placement. Businesses cover the costs of travel and uniform if required

Work placements have been in the following areas: retail (operations and sales), office/reception,  stock room, warehouse, maintenance, gardening/ landscaping, kitchen/counter assistance and cleaning,

Current placement companies include: Marks & Spencer, Boots, KPMG, Tesco, BaxterStorey, Jurys Inn Hotels and the Maldron Hotels Group.

Straight after the placement, participants come back together with the trainers, agree an action plan to go forward and receive certificates of completion.

After the work placement a Training and Employment Officer meets with participants regularly, providing guidance, motivation and practical support during the job search and onwards into employment or training. There is also access to business workshops, which provide extra support from business volunteers for effective job seeking.

February 1st – March 11th

April 11th – May 20th

June 13th – July 15th

5th September – 7th October

10th October – 11th November

Follow Ready for Work on Twitter


For further information please contact:

Anna Greenhalgh
Employment Programmes Coordinator

01 874 3814

agreenhalgh@bitc.ie