Launched in 2010, career advancement programme Begin Again still has 100 work placements available nationwide, including roles in IT, research, marketing and accounting.
To date, Begin Again has already placed more than 500 unemployed people in work placements throughout Ireland. More than 240 of these have now returned to employment, providing the exchequer with an additional estimated €4.8m on an annualised basis.
Developed by the Irish Centre for Business Excellence and funded by the Labour Market Activation Fund, Begin Again involves in a highly targeted 12-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.
More than 300 companies have taken part in the programme to date, with established companies such as Supermac’s, Boston Scientific and Bewleys all providing work placements and full-time employment opportunities.
Of the Begin Again participants to date, 19pc have gained self-employment or contracts, with a further 5pc re-entering the education system. A further 21pc are in workplaces with real job prospects.
The programme is primarily aimed at experienced and professional individuals who can bring real value to a company or business. All participants taking part in the Begin Again programme must have availed of unemployment assistance from Social Welfare for three months. Begin Again participants retain all of their social welfare benefits during the work placement programme.
Photo: Mike Gaffney of Begin Again and programme supporter Mark Fielding of ISME