To mark International Day of Disabled Persons, Ibec’s Diversity Forum heard from the Pathways Co-ordinator of the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Marie Devitt, regarding their Level 5 Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive applied Practice which has been successfully equipping students with the requisite education and training for future employment or further education which will allow them to lead more independent lives.
The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID) is a not-for-profit organisation, operating a pioneering education programme for students with intellectual disabilities, based within the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin. The Level 5 Certificate covers a wide range of modules over 2 years and works with a very strong network of business partners who provide student work placements, mentoring, paid internships and in some cases permanent employment for the graduates. They now have a network of 20 partners across a wide range of industries including law firms, financial institutions, global healthcare companies, recruitment companies and the aircraft leasing sector to name a few. They offer students and graduates an insight into potential career. These young people had previously been marginalised with few opportunities for meaningful paid employment. However, with the help of the partners, this is now changing. Not only are they able to offer supported career pathways for students as they move on from Trinity College, but they now have real choice which allows them to look at specific industries that might suit their particular interests and skills. With the support of partners, a TCPID Graduate Internship programme was developed, starting as a pilot in January 2017. To date they have had over 23 paid graduate internships, four of which have been converted into permanent roles in Avolon, Cpl, EY and Paypal and others having their internships extended.
Speaking at the Diversity Forum, Sharon Vize, HR Director, Cpl outlined the positive experience that they have with TCPID since they commenced working with them two years ago providing CV and interview skills to students. As a business partner, Cpl offered a 6-month graduate placement and went on to permanently employ their student Mei Lin Yap as a HR Assistant. Mei Lin addressed the Diversity Forum and outlined her experiences both as a young woman with a disability, a student and now an employee, and offered employers sound advice on the “do’s and don’ts” when hiring a person with a disability. She emphasised the importance of assigning a buddy to support the new starter, who they can confide in and ask questions about the organisation or role, helping them feel included but not smothered. She also advised employers not to treat a person with a disability differently, making sure that their duties do not let the disability define or isolate the individual. She concluded that “when we dream big and others dream big for us then we can achieve our full potential. Having a job makes me feel accepted and included and a fully-fledged adult who can contribute to society”.
TCPID are looking to expand their network of Business Partners programme to make a real difference and build true inclusion within the workplace and within society. For further information please contact Marie Devitt, TCPID Pathways Coordinator at email@example.com or 01 8963885.
Wednesday, 19 December 2018