THE Irish Association for Supported Employment (IASE) has called for businesses in Tipperary to participate in the sixth annual National Supported Employment Week (April 22-28). Job Shadow Day (April 24) 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.
A number of high profile individuals participated in Job Shadow Day last year, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was shadowed by 23-year-old Cian O’Connor.
Commenting on his experience of the Job Shadow initiative, Mr Kenny 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 Dail 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.”
Other supporters included former IASE patron Sean Gallagher, Senator David Norris, Minister Joan Burton, Minister Kathleen Lynch and adventurer Mark Pollock.
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.
Other well-known individuals already committed for Job Shadow Day 2013 include celebrity chef Neven Maguire and Kerry footballer Colm Cooper.
Teresa Mallon, chairperson, IASE commented: “Job Shadow Day is a collaborative effort involving the IASE, supported employment organisations nationwide, job seekers and employers. It is a very positive initiative to raise awareness among employers of the important role and contribution individuals with disabilities can make in the workplace. To date, hundreds of employers have opened their doors to demonstrate their commitment to equal employment opportunities for individuals with a disability and we have received very positive feedback from participating businesses.”
Ms Mallon continued: “The IASE, along with the other organisations involved, put all of the necessary planning and supports in place so employers and job seekers can simply enjoy taking part and get the maximum benefit from the day.”
IrishJobs.ie website is once again one of the main sponsors of National Supported Employment Week and the Job Shadow initiative.
Jane Lorigan, CEO Europe of Saongroup.com and managing director of IrishJobs.ie said: “We are looking forward to participating in Job Shadow Day again this year and we will be encouraging our clients to join us. This valuable initiative promotes an accessible and inclusive workplace, something which we feel very strongly about at IrishJobs.ie The IASE works closely with any employer or job seeker interested in taking part and with almost 900 businesses in Ireland using IrishJobs.ie, we are confident that there will be a record number of companies involved this year.”
Employers and job seekers interested in participating in Job Shadow Day 2013 are invited to register their interest at www.iase.ie