Back-to-work programmes launched in Athlone

An opportunity for professionals and graduates who have been unemployed for more than 12 months is about to open up in Athlone, with the launch of an innovative programme under the Government-funded and EU-supported Momentum Skills Initiative.

The full-time programme wil be delivered in Athlone over a period of 20 weeks, combining employability training with technical training and a directed work placement. Those interested should contact their local Employment Services Office (FÁS ) to confirm their eligibility and to be placed on a panel for consideration.

The programme is delivered by the Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE ) in conjunction with City & Guilds, and has already seen huge interest from people living across Westmeath, Longford, and Offaly.

The programme is designed to create genuine job opportunities by helping participants to refocus their talents and revitalise their skills through formal training and one-to-one mentoring. The programmes will suit those looking for job opportunities in areas of business support such as administration, systems, customer service, project management, procurement, management, supply chain management, and organisational support and will provide the training and contacts needed to secure employment.

Speaking about the programmes available in Athlone, chief executive of ICBE, Pat O’Connor, explained: “These courses will give participants skills they can apply to any work situation in any business sector. Each programme will embrace training in personal development and leadership, helping those who are unemployed to regain the self-confidence and resilience to obtain employment. About 60 per cent of people who are unemployed have been out of work for over a year and many of these are experienced people who never expected to be without work.

“We have appointed an experienced business mentor Nuala Greenan to work with each participant to find a suitable work placement where both existing skills and new knowledge acquired on the programme can be applied. Nuala will also help them implement a successful project in their work placement and support their efforts to gain employment on completion of the programme.”

The Business Process Improvement programme starts on May 20 in Athlone. The programme is open to those who are at least 12 months on the live register and in receipt of jobseekers benefit or allowance, or signing on for social insurance credit for at least 12 months and actively seeking work.

For further information on the programmes, see www.cityandguilds.com/ireland/momentum or email Nuala Greenan at [email protected].

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