Rehab’s innovative JobFit programme which operated a centre in Athlone between August 2010 and March 2011 has revealed today that 54 per cent of participants on the employment and training skills course in the town got a job or progressed on to further education or training. A total of 160 people who were unemployed enrolled in the centre and outcomes of participants were tracked up to October 31.
The impressive outcomes of the programme included a total of 58 participants who were successful in gaining employment, representing 36 per cent of programme starts. And a total of 28 participants progressed on to further or higher education, representing 18 per cent of programme starts.
The JobFit programme was undertaken for a time-specific period through funding from the Labour Market Activation Fund of the Department of Education and Skills and the European Social Fund. It was delivered by TBG Learning in partnership with National Learning Network - both Rehab Group companies. The aim of the programme was to support people who were unemployed in getting a job or moving on to further education or employment-related training.
Commending the success of JobFit, Rehab Group chief executive Angela Kerins said, “The results of the JobFit programme really speak for themselves and the positive feedback we received from participants and employers in Athlone and other areas throughout the duration says even more. It is clear JobFit has made a real contribution to the need for people to upskill and re-enter employment whilst also offering excellent value for money.
“One of the most pleasing results is the fact that more than 50 per cent of Athlone participants have secured jobs or gone on to further training to date, and we believe that this will rise in the coming weeks as we continue to monitor people’s progress, showing there are real opportunities available for people with the right skill sets. Those who have gone on to secure employment are working in areas such as retail, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, care and security roles and more, as a result of honing and gaining new skills through the programme. We are also confident that those participants whom we supported in progressing onto further and higher education are also in an excellent position to capitalise on future opportunities.
“With a clear track record of success and experience in the area, Rehab would welcome the opportunity to once again provide supports to people who are unemployed in enabling them get their lives back on track,” she added.
Targeting individuals who had been in receipt of a social welfare payment for three months or more and qualified to Junior Certificate or below, JobFit offered participants a personalised programme lasting up to 13 weeks which included free skills training, nationally-recognised qualifications, free job search support, and free work placements with local employers.
In addition to the centre in Athlone, 10 other JobFit centres operated around the country in Blanchardstown, Castlebar, Cork, Dundalk, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Smithfield, Tallaght, and Waterford.
Modules offered as part of the programme included information technology skills, health and social care, consumer awareness, workplace safety, and food hygiene and manual handling, accredited by a range of bodies, including FETAC.