The EPIC programme which is run by business network, Business in the Community Ireland, brings government, business, state agencies and NGOs together to assist immigrants to gain employment by providing training and support. Over 200 of the latest participants graduated recently at an event in Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin.
The Dublin based EPIC programme commenced in 2008 and almost 1500 people from 97 countries have benefitted. 49% of participants have gone on to find employment with another 30% entering further education and training.
Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald T.D said: “EPIC is an innovative programme which aims to assist people from immigrant communities find employment or enter further education. I am delighted to see so many nationalities participate in the programme as employment is such a vital tool for integration. EPIC is co-funded by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration under my department together with the European Social Fund and is a great example of government, business and non-profit partnership.”
EPIC has had participants from 97 different countries including Nigeria, Romania, Poland, Brazil, Spain and Lithuania. A number of businesses support the programme by providing training, interview skills or work experience placements. They include BT, Accenture, Bank of Ireland, BWG, CPL, CRH, Davy, eBay, Ericsson, KPMG, Hilton Hotels, Matheson, Mercury Engineering, O2, Oracle, Transdev, ADC Barcode and Stream Global.
“The support of businesses in Ireland for our EPIC programme has been amazing. Through BT offering IT training and CPL undertaking mock interviews, our EPIC clients are armed with the right skills for the Irish job market. Without a doubt, employment is the best way for people to integrate into a society and the continued success of the EPIC programme is testament to that,” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community, speaking at the event.
The programme targets immigrants that experience difficulties accessing appropriate employment and supports them in the process by providing individual guidance, specialised training and personal development opportunities. EPIC is funded by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration under the Department of Justice & Equality together with the European Social Fund and is run by Business in the Community Ireland.
For information about the programme contact Caitríona Mac Aonghusa/Catherine Headon Joint Co-ordinators
EPIC Programme 30/31 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin 1
T: 01 874 3840
Pictured above: Amaechi Innocent from Nigeria, Carina Oliveira from Brazil, Kevin Pereira from Venezuela.
Photograph by Jason Clarke Photography