Work placements available for Members of the GAA

Work placements available for Members of the GAA

Begin Again career initiative helps 240 return to workforce

Members of the GAA who are eager to rejoin the workforce have the opportunity to take up some 300 work placements provided by Begin Again(www.beginÓ, 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 twelve 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.

Over 300 Companies have taken part in the programme to date with established companies such as Supermacs, Boston Scientific and Bewleys all providing work placements and full time employment opportunities.

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% of participants have obtained employment, 19% have gained self employment or contracts with a further 5% re-entering the education system. A further 21% are currently in workplaces with real job prospects.

Reflecting on the programme, Trevor Quinn a recent participant said, "Begin Again offered me an ideal platform to secure work in a difficult economic climate. Following three months with The Mayo News on the Begin Again programme the newspaper has now offered me a new contract. The group dynamic on our training days was supportive, positive and practical throughout. I couldnt recommend the programme highly enough, a fantastic initiative which enables unemployed professionals to source employment and thrive again in a working environment."

Mike Gaffney, spokesperson for Begin Again is urging more people to take a proactive first step and contact Begin Again by logging onto www.beginÓ "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 the 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 OConnor, 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% 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% 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 www.beginÓ or call 061 371753

Issued on behalf of Begin Again by Murray Consultants.

For Further Information please contact
John McGuinness
Murray Consultants
01 498 0361
087 6417451



06-Jun-11 by Colette Fox – PRO