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Ready for Work is our EmployAbility Service for people with disabilities and health challenges

Business in the Community Ireland runs Ready for Work, an EmployAbility Service funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that provides guidance, work experience and support to people with disabilities and health challenges. 

The people we support through our partnership with businesses come from a variety of backgrounds. They may be referred directly from Intreo or a Local Employment Service, or they may come through specialist workers in health, homelessness or addiction services.

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.

Applications by referral only – please call if you would like more information / advice on this.

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 800 people. Close to 70% of those completing work experience through the service have since started working and almost all of the participants have said that the service has increased their confidence and motivation for finding employment. 

We are funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and we work with government and community-voluntary services to provide pathways towards work.

If you are in contact with people who are affected by a health condition, injury, illness or disability and are progressing towards a return to work, you can refer them to us by sending in a completed application form:

BITCI Employment Programmes Application Form

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

BITC RFW Leaflet

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 carry out a needs assessment and a Career Counsellor begins to create a working relationship with the client. 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 4 weeks to help them to get familiar with the role and the company, and our team are there 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 placement opportunities include: retail (operations and sales), stockroom, warehouse, maintenance, catering, cleaning and admin.

Current placement companies include: Marks & Spencer, Lidl, Boots, Momentum Support, Compass, Ricoh, Jurys Inn Hotels, Hilton hotels and the Dalata group.

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

Before, during and after the work placement a Career Counsellor 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.

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25-March-2019

13-May-2019

01-July-2019

09-September-2019

14-October-2019

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For further information please contact:

Anna Greenhalgh
Employment Programmes Coordinator

(01) 874 7232

agreenhalgh@bitc.ie