Minister of State Kevin Humphreys T.D. officially opens new offices for EmployAbility Galway


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The Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys, T.D. is in Galway today (Monday, 24th November 2014) to officially open the new EmployAbility Galway offices at Mervue Business Park and meet with local Community groups.

EmployAbility, funded by Department of Social Protection, is part of a national Supported Employment network for people with disabilities, mental health difficulties and people in recovery from accident, illness or injury that are job ready and want to work.  

EmployAbility Galway provides services for people with disabilities living in the city and the county; they work with a staff of 5 Job Coaches and one Coordinator. Their remit is to find paid employment for their clients.  They also support Employers to develop more inclusive work places and practices.  EmployAbility Galway places approximately forty people in employment each year; fifty people have been placed up to the end of October this year.

Speaking in advance of his visit, Minister Humphreys acknowledged the role played by the EmployAbility Service throughout the country: “The EmployAbility Service plays a key element in the Government’s drive to increase the level of employment amongst people with disabilities.  In particular, the job-coaching service that it provides is instrumental in bridging the gap between people with disabilities and employers.” 

Referring to the Department of Social Protection’s INTREO service, the Minister said that the officials are working closely with employers to:

  • identify employment needs to ensure that supports for unemployed people can be appropriately tailored;
  • provide effective job vacancy advertising and job matching services
  • provide access to financial supports for employers to grow their workforce; and
  • bring people with disabilities into employment

The Minister stated: “Bringing people with disabilities into employment has huge benefits for everyone involved. It is an opportunity to tap into the substantial talent pool available within the cohort of people with disabilities, while creating a more diverse, cohesive and inclusive workforce.”

Later today, Minister Humphreys will be visiting the ‘Access Music Project (Galway)’, a Community Employment scheme which enables people with a basic knowledge, interest and ability in music to gain further training and development in music and arts education programmes.  The scheme which began in 2004 currently has 15 participants and one supervisor. 

The Minister will also meet with representatives of the National Learning Network ‘Linking In’, a project which provides early supportive interventions for people in receipt of Illness Benefit or Injury Benefit who work in SMEs.  The principal aim of this project is to engage employers of SMEs to improve the workplace environment and be more supportive for absent workers returning to work.

Minister Humphreys will meet with a representative of the Local Employment Service (LES) Galway, a service that works closely with the Department of Social Protection in providing employment supports to jobseekers over four different locations in Galway city, namely, Bohermore, Galway People Resource Centre, Westside Resource Centre and Ballybane Community Resource Centre.   LES provides additional time and supports to people who are most marginalised from the labour market, in particular, people with disabilities.

The Minister welcomed the fact that the Department of Social Protection, the local community schemes and other agencies, along with local employers are working together to make a better future for the people of Galway as the country recovers from the recession. “Every community has experienced the most difficult times brought on by the recession.  It has been and continues to be very challenging for people, especially those who are still out of work.  The Department of Social Protection remains focused on its drive in working with local supports, community and voluntary groups and employers to create opportunities that will give unemployed people, with and without disabilities to get back into the workforce and carve out a rewarding career”, he added.

ENDS

Last modified:24/11/2014