Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD and Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath TD launched the WALK REAL *Ability Project with the view to supporting young people with disabilities into jobs.
WALK REAL Ability Project - supporting young adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism to Reach their Employment Ambitions in Life
Today, 31st January 2019, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, launched the WALK REAL Ability Project in Airfield Estate, Dundrum. This project will see 75 young adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism gain valuable work experiences, across a variety of work environments, that will dramatically increase their prospects of getting paid employment and realising their employment ambitions in life.
The project will provide on-the-job training and supported employment for the participants and engage, support and train employers to employ the participants.
The WALK REAL Ability Project is one of 27 funded under the “Ability Programme” to deliver new pre-activation programmes for young people, aged 15-29, with disabilities.
When speaking at today’s launch, Minister Doherty said “I am delighted to support the WALK REAL Ability project which promotes the employability of young people with intellectual disabilities, Autism and complex needs. A project like this supports young adults who are not in employment, education or training and helps them to progress towards employment in the open labour market by delivering fantastic real world-of-work vocational training and work experiences. I understand that, over the course of the project, up to 75 young adults will be supported through person-centred engagement to build the skills and confidence they need to become career ready. For these 75 young people WALK will tap into their potential and give them the confidence and experience to realise their work ambitions.”
Speaking at the launch Minster McGrath said “Since being appointed Minister for Disabilities one of my main objectives has been to see more people with disabilities in the workforce. I'm always encouraging employers to see the persons abilities and allow them to achieve their full potential in life. This is the very ethos of WALK and I commend them for it.”
Also, speaking at the launch, Joe Mason, WALK CEO, said “we know young people with disabilities have the same hopes, dreams and ambitions as their brothers, sisters and peers. We know they can and want to work. We also know that employers are open to employing people with disabilities. The challenge is to join up the necessary supports and services so that people with disabilities and employers see potential and possibilities rather than the barriers and challenges. The Ability Programme provides an opportunity to showcase how Supported Employment, collaboration and a person-centred approach can give young people equality of opportunity to realise their employment ambitions in life”
Working closely with project partners, including Walkinstown Green Social Enterprises (Grantee), Airfield Estate (Delivery Partner) and a variety of Service Providers, the participants are engaged, supported and empowered to realise their own employment ambitions in life.
*Ability is co-financed by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.