Three hundred work placements available for experienced Galway professionals

Experienced and professional individuals in Galway who are eager to rejoin the workforce have the opportunity to take up some 300 work placements provided by Begin Again ( ), a career advancement programme developed by the Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE ).

The programme which was launched in 2010 has already placed over 400 unemployed people in work placements throughout Ireland. Over 240 of these have now returned to employment, providing the exchequer with an additional estimated €4.8m on an annualised basis.

The ICBE Begin Again programme provides participants with the opportunity to partake in a highly targeted 12-week work placement within a suitable company. The Programme is a mix of certified training, internship and mentoring, with four central themes; employment and employability, resilience and well being, innovation and enterprise and lifelong learning and training.

Having recently completed the programme, Galway native John O’ Reilly said, “The Begin Again programme has not only helped me secure employment, it has also very professionally blended my expertise with the company’s requirements. Begin Again is the only programme that has offered me anything concrete in terms of employment opportunities.’’

More than 300 companies have taken part in the programme to date with established companies such as Supermac’s, Boston Scientific and Bewleys all providing work placements and full time employment opportunities. The next Begin Again Programme will begin on May 4 in The Clayton Hotel.

Funded by the Labour Market Activation Fund, the Begin Again programme has enabled people who were experiencing both short term and long term unemployment gain that crucial foothold back into the workforce. To date 41 per cent of participants have obtained employment, 19 per cent have gained self employment or contracts, with a further five per cent re-entering the education system. A further 21 per cent are currently in workplaces with real job prospects.

Maureen Grealish, Galway mentor for Begin Again is urging more people to take a proactive first step and contact Begin Again by logging onto “We currently have work placements available right across the country including Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. These positions include roles in sales, marketing, office administration, IT, accounting and research.”

The Begin Again programme is primarily aimed at experienced and professional individuals who, once given the opportunity are bringing real value to a company or business. All participants taking part in the Begin Again programme must have availed of unemployment assistance from social welfare for the period of three months. Begin Again participants retain all of their social welfare benefits during the work placement programme.

Explaining the impact of Begin Again, Pat O’Connor, CEO of the ICBE said, “We have seen participants come from a broad range of backgrounds and educational levels including engineers, accountants, quantity surveyors, sales and administration professionals and operational level people. Having had a successful outcome for over three quarters of our 400 participants, 49 per cent of whom were long term unemployed, we believe we are providing a valuable service for the Irish public and the Irish State. We estimate that Begin Again is costing less than 50 per cent of any previous government sponsored labour market activation programme.”

The strength of the programme is its ability to successfully match individuals’ skills and expertise with industry gaps and opportunities. Participants meet with a number of possible companies to discuss the mutual benefits of a work placement. As a result of the work placements; applicants gain additional experience as well as mentoring support and training whilst the companies gain an additional member of staff for a focused project to be delivered at no extra cost. The overall benefit for both is the prospect of full time employment and in securing an up-skilled focused employee.

For further information on the Begin Again programme go to or call 061 371753

The ICBE Begin Again programme provides participants with the opportunity to partake in a targeted twelve week work placement within a suitable Company or Business. The participants are matched to a respective Company following a formal interview process.

The ICBE Begin Again programme is funded by the Labour Market Activation Fund, operated by the Department of Education and Skills.

The ICBE is a non-profit cross organisation established by leading companies on the island of Ireland.

With approximately sixty members ranging from multi-nationals right down to SME’s the ICBE is a cross–sectoral network of organisations that demonstrate a deep commitment to continuous improvement and the pursuit of business excellence.

The network provides a platform for companies to share knowledge and best practice across all business functions, organises a series of networking events throughout the year, assists members meet their learning and development needs and supports members implement transformation strategies in their organisations.


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