This yearâ€™s Job Shadow initiative was one of the most successful ever for St Christopherâ€™s Services in Longford town.
Local employers involved in this yearâ€™s event included Paul Gurney, Charlie McGettigan, Butler Manufacturing, Panelto Foods Ltd, House of Style Hair Stylists, Longford GardaÃ, Crandara Veterinary Clinic, Ardagh Landscapes, Glendeer Pet Farm, HomeBase, Billy the Barber, HSE Health Promotion Department, Ballymahon Library and Dolan Foods Ltd in Lanesboro.
Participants were Adrian Hand, James Mulvihill, Stephen Browne, Cassandra Farrell, Martin McGrath, Mark Healy, Jesse Farrell, John Millar, Seamus Cassells, James Baxter, Niall Quinn, Aiden Drake and PJ McDonnell.
The initiative took place during April and is designed to give individuals with a disability a unique opportunity to get a close-up look at the world of work for one day every year.
Participants â€˜shadowedâ€™ an employee, enabling them to discover and learn about the skills and education required to compete and succeed in the work place.
In recognition of the employers and participants who were involved in the Job Shadow initiative, St Christopherâ€™s Services Ltd, recenlty held a presentation to mark the occasion in Aras an Chontae.
Greg Barry, Chairperson IASE, made presentations, and he commented, â€œThis event has presented very positive results both for the participants and the companies involved by creating greater awareness of the importance of inclusive work practices and environments.â€
Mr Barry added, â€œAlready it is opening up the possibility of future work experience and job sampling opportunities which will assist each participant on their journey towards securing an appropriate employment placement in the future.â€
He went on to commend those who provided leadership on Job Shadow Day and pointed to workplace diversity, which he added, was emerging. â€œI particularly wish to commend the leadership role demonstrated by all involved in positively embracing ability and diversity in the workplace through their involvement in this very significant national awareness-raising event.â€
Mr Barry concluded, â€œI have no doubt that this initiative will grow from strength to strength within the Longford region, given the level of commitment evident by employers and St Christopherâ€™s Services.â€
Regina Scally, Programme Director/Employment Specialist, St Christopherâ€™s, thanked all employers for taking part and for facilitating the Job Shadow Day placement. She also acknowledged how one placement changed the life of a young participant forever after he spent the day at Dolan Foods in Lanesboro.
â€œThis is a perfect example of how Job Shadowing can be translated into employment,â€ she smiled.
This is the third year that St Christopherâ€™s Services Ltd has been involved with this initiative and it has been a huge success.
The participants on placement all had very positive feedback about their placements and apart from the work and career element of the Job Shadow initiative, great relationships and networks are built with employers and the business community locally.
â€œOur reputation of delivering a high standard of service is well known and this has stood to the success of our supported employment programme,â€ remarked Ms Scally.