Mayo employers called to support Job Shadow Day

Cian O’Connor (23) from Dublin shadowed An Taoiseach Enda Kenny during the 2012 Job Shadow Day. Photo: Maxwells.

Cian O’Connor (23) from Dublin shadowed An Taoiseach Enda Kenny during the 2012 Job Shadow Day. Photo: Maxwells.

The Irish Association for Supported Employment (IASE ) has called for businesses in Mayo to participate in the sixth annual National Supported Employment Week (22 to 28 April ). Job Shadow Day (24 April ) is the highlight of the week and will see hundreds of people with disabilities shadow a workplace mentor as he or she goes about a normal working day.

Job Shadow Day is organised by a Belmullet based charity, the Irish Association of Supported Employment. The IASE’s national co-ordinator, Sarah Togher, from Belmullet, called on local employers across Mayo, who have shown great enthusiasm for Job Shadow Day in the past, to once again come out and support the initiative. “Job Shadow Day is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses, employees and people with disability from across Mayo to come together for one day and express their commitment and support to equal employment opportunities for all,” she explained.

Brian Doherty from Pullathomas near Belmullet took part in Job Shadow Day last year through EmployAbility Mayo. Brian worked for a day with Fr Michael Nallen as a groundsman at the parish office in Aughoose. He later went on to secure seasonal work as a groundsman. He said he would definitely recommend the job shadow experience to others. “It was a good and enjoyable experience,” he said. “It gave me lots of confidence to be able to go out and do the job.”

Collette Corless, job coach with EmployAbility Mayo, encouraged all local businesses to take part in Job Shadow Day 2013. “It is a unique platform because it enables us, as job coaches, to support our clients, the job seekers, to experience the job of their choice while supporting the employer as well,” she explained.

Other supporters included An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former IASE patron Sean Gallagher; Senator David Norris; Minister Joan Burton; Minister Kathleen Lynch and adventurer Mark Pollock.

An Taoiseach Kenny was shadowed by 23-year-old Cian O’Connor. Commenting on his experience of the Job Shadow initiative, An Taoiseach said: “I really enjoyed my day with Cian last year. He came with me to meetings with farming organisations, tourism businesses, students and visitors from the USA and he was very forthright in his participation. His media appearances and attendance at the Dáil were, I think, very good for people in supported employment and I'm a big supporter of Job Shadow Day. I would encourage more people to get involved and offer a person with disabilities a chance to come and work with them for a day. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!”

Initiatives such as Job Shadow Day offer individuals with a disability a unique opportunity to get a close up look at the world of work, enabling them to discover and learn about the skills and education required to compete and succeed in the workplace.

Well-known individuals already committed for Job Shadow Day 2013 include celebrity chef Neven Maguire, Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Coady and Kerry footballer Colm Cooper.

Employers and job seekers interested in participating in Job Shadow Day 2013 are invited to register their interest at www.iase.ie

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