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New JobFit Initiative Officially Launched by An Tanaiste Aims to Get People Back into Work
Tuesday 2nd November: JobFit, an innovative new programme to help unemployed people back into work or further education was officially launched today by An Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD, at an information event for potential employer partners in Dublin.
JobFit aims to help people who have been unemployed and in receipt of a social welfare payment for three months or more, and who are qualified to Junior Certificate level or below, to get a job or move onto further education or employment-related training. JobFit is a free programme, which can last up to 13 weeks, offering training that leads to nationally-recognised qualifications, work placements with local employers and tailored support and guidance, and is delivered by TBG Learning in partnership with National Learning Network.
Eleven JobFit centres operate around the country—in Blanchardstown, Smithfield, Tallaght, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Castlebar, Athlone and Dundalk. JobFit is funded by the Labour Market Activation Fund of the Department of Education and Skills and the European Social Fund of the European Union.
Speaking at the event Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD said, “The Government is investing €32million in the Labour Market Activation Fund to provide training to 12,000 people this year. Some 59 projects across the country are providing relevant participant-centred programmes for the unemployed designed to enhance their prospects of achieving real outcomes which will lead closer to the labour market. JobFit is already showing evidence of getting people back to work through its programme which I’m very pleased to officially launch today.”
Angela Kerins, Chief Executive of the Rehab Group said, “JobFit is a flexible, supportive programme, which helps people to identify and play to their strengths. It is working extremely well, with high participation rates in every centre. What we are seeing on the programme is people gaining confidence, improving their ability to look for jobs and to plan their future. We already have some great success stories, with people working towards qualifications, gaining employment and being accepted onto training programmes.”
JobFit offers people the opportunity to retrain and upskill in a range of areas, with a concentration on IT, office, sales and retail skills, as well as getting hands-on work placements in sectors of their choice.
Discussing the role of the employer, Andrew Conlan-Trant, Head of TBG Learning added, “Work experience and progression into jobs is a key component of the JobFit programme. We have received a great reaction from employers, many of whom are actively seeking new employees who are job-ready and can meet their needs.
“There are many people on the JobFit programme who are ready and willing to take on a new challenge, and who have the skills and abilities to make a great contribution to the workplace. Any employer with vacancies should contact JobFit, and our staff will meet with them to discuss opportunities and to seek out suitable candidates from among JobFit participants. Our placement service is free to employers and we liaise with our participants after employment to provide support if this is necessary.”
Acknowledging the support received from employers and business groups to date, Ms. Kerins added, “I would like to thank the various business and sporting figures around the country that have so generously lent their time and support to the local JobFit centres and helped us to raise awareness of the programme at local level.”
Amongst the modules on offer by JobFit are information technology skills, health and social care, consumer awareness, manual handling, workplace safety and food hygiene. On successful completion, participants can achieve FETAC Level 3 Preparation for Work, FETAC Level 3 Computer Literacy and FETAC Level 3 Work Orientation qualifications. JobFit participants who qualify for a social welfare payment may qualify to retain that benefit while on the programme and JobFit will continue to support those who secure employment for up to three months.
To find out more about JobFit and the services on offer, log on to www.jobfit.ie
Don Delaney, Rehab, 01 205 7311/086 835 8575
About TBG Learning
Established in 1986, TBG Learning is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Rehab Group. Throughout its history, TBG Learning has focused upon meeting the needs of disadvantaged people and has contributed to a whole range of programmes designed to reduce unemployment in the United Kingdom. TBG Learning helps over 30,000 participants progress into employment or further learning annually. The scale of achievement in skills and work-based learning is also considerable, with over 15,000 young people and adults achieving a qualification each year. For more information, see www.tbglearning.com
About National Learning Network
National Learning Network is a long-established organisation in Ireland under the aegis of the Rehab Group with a distinguished reputation and vast experience in the delivery of FETAC-accredited training. Over 5,000 people are trained annually by National Learning Network through individualised person-centred provision which supports people to achieve their full potential. Over 90 per cent of those who complete training progress to further education or training or directly to employment. For more information, see www.nln.ie
Rehab is a leading non-governmental organisation which works towards a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their potential. Over 3,350 Rehab staff members in approximately 200 locations provide high-quality health and social care, training and education, and rehabilitation, employment and commercial services in Ireland, England, Scotland, The Netherlands and Poland. The people who currently use Rehab services include young people and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities, people with mental health difficulties, people with autism and people with an acquired brain injury. A range of essential services is also provided to older people, carers and others who are marginalised. For more information, see www.rehab.ie