DACT Training Options Launch

February 3 2014, 03:02pm


Monday 27th January 2014

Training Options Initiative is the largest of 13 Disability Activation Programmes funded by Department of Social Protection and the European Social Investment Fund. The programme is being delivered in the Border Midlands and Western Region and the list of Congress Centre locations can be found on the ICTU website.

ICTU has been working with and for people experiencing a disability for over twenty years. The Congress Centres through their many Community Employment Schemes have trained and provided work placements for many people. After taking part in a Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong programme to Iceland in 2011, they researched a peer mentoring programme that was very successful with the RED Cross in Iceland and decided to add mentoring and peer support to the pre employment courses. Mentors are trained in Career Guidance, supporting a learner and assisting with goal setting and pathways to work or employment. This person centred approach is key to alleviating fears and barriers people experience having been disconnected from the work place. Building confidence can only happen when people have resources such as access to transportation and childcare to participate in programmes, this is a built in support on Training Options Programme.

Each learner has the opportunity to achieve 3 FETAC component Certificates, 10 days work placement, one to one mentoring and apply to be an mentor/Disability Champion working part-time in the Congress Centres Network. Everyone will work with their mentor to complete their Individual learner progression plan and have a clear pathway to either further education and training or return to work options. Workshops are provided by statutory agencies to explain all aspects of training and education available in the local area.

The outputs of Training Options are as follows;

  • 390 learners
  • 1170 FETAC Component Certificates
  • 3900 work placement days
  • 23400 Training days

This is an ambitious programme in the current economic climate and they are working with employers, trade union officials and healthcare workers locally to recruit participants and secure work placements that lead to employment for the learners. They take the opportunity to explain grants available to the employer and incentives available to our learners should they return to work. They also strive to train and retain Disability Champions in our organisation that will be a sustainable asset for the community and provide supports going forward. They ask for the continued support of the Department of Social Protection in mainstreaming this programme and rolling it out nationwide.

To date there are 77 learners complete the process and 20 have trained as mentors.

For more information on the project please go to http://www.ictu.ie/projects/training-options-disability-activation-project-dact/ or contact Fiona Elward on 01-8897704