AIT and Midlands Simon Community team-up to offer Graduate Intern Programme

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) and the Midlands Simon Community have partnered to offer a graduate intern programme to social care graduates from the institute.

The 12-month internship has commenced with two graduates, Carmel O’Reilly and Jarlath Coady, successful in obtaining places on the programme. The pair will be working across the broad range of services provided by Simon. Mr Coady recently graduated with a BA (Hons ) in Social Care Practice, while Ms O’Reilly graduated with a BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care.

The rationale for the initiative was to give new graduates frontline experience of working in a professional social care service. Working as part of an established team, they will benefit from regular supervision from an experienced manager, as well as gaining experience of carrying out the duties of a professional social care worker.

Ashling Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Child and Social Care Studies at AIT, congratulated Ms O’Reilly and Mr Coady on their achievement and wished them success as graduate interns with the Midlands Simon Community. “We are delighted here in Social Care in AIT to be in partnership with the Midlands Simon Community to create such an opportunity for our graduates. To have a full year’s work experience in an organisation such as the Midlands Simon Community will be invaluable on their CVs. It will add to the placement experience students already acquire as part of their social care degree courses at the institute,” she said.

Tony O’Riordan, CEO of the Midlands Simon Community, said: “This is another excellent example of AIT reaching out to the local community and, in this case, through the graduate intern programme providing an additional resource to those affected by homelessness and on the margins of society.”

The Midlands Simon Community delivers services to people affected by homelessness in the counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath. The organisation provides emergency accommodation, regional settlement and social housing services to those who are most in need.

AIT is one of the leading providers of social care programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Ireland. Demand for their higher certificate and honours degree offerings increased dramatically through the CAO this year, with the points for both programmes rising to 350 and 325 respectively. Some 270 people graduated from full-time and part-time social studies and social care programmes at AIT in October.

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