One of our Welcome to Work employment advisors, compares navigating the job market in a new country to standing at the bottom of a mountain. He believes it’s his job to help our participants take the first step up. Cormac, based in Galway, takes us through one of his favourite client success stories and tells us in his own words, what he believes the Welcome to Work Programme can achieve.
“Welcome to Work is a programme for people that have come to Ireland via the international protection system. People who have been in the IPS, some for several years, and have now been granted the right to work in Ireland’
“The participants we meet on this programme have come here for a better life. They may have been in Ireland for some time before gaining the right to employment. Now, they’re at a point where they want to get on with their lives. They just need access to all information about applying for jobs or upskilling. I also find that when people have been unable to work for a while, their confidence can be at a low point.”
Confidence building is the key focus for Cormac in his work with participants and in his own life. He joined Seetec three years ago having worked in the hospitality sector for many years.
“I wasn’t sure I’d do well in an office environment, but I wanted to give it a go and there are some wonderful people in Seetec who helped me grow my confidence. That’s what I try to do with my participants and that’s all I needed to do with Ada*. When she was referred to me, I could tell she had a good skillset already. She just lacked self-belief and maybe the finer points of navigating the Irish job market and putting in a polished application.”
Ada, a single parent, had been unable to work since 2009. She had previous experience in manufacturing and was looking for work where she could put those skills to use. With fluency in English and her very specific manufacturing experience, Cormac was sure that with a little help, Ada would find work very quickly.
“She’s a lovely person, very courageous and she has gone through a lot of challenges to get here. What we needed was a CV that was a good representation of her on paper, the skills and experience that she had. I was able to help her expand on this and help her realise that she already had the necessary skills to get a job in her area of expertise.”
The Welcome to Work programme is ambitious in scope and offers a wide range of opportunities our participants could potentially need. Below is a list of some of the training and supports our participants have access to through their work with our dedicated employment advisers. Our Welcome to Work programme is completely free and open to anyone who doesn’t have an Irish passport or citizenship but has been granted the right to work here.
|Understanding of Irish culture, language, and history.||Aptitude/dexterity tests practice|
|CV and cover letter workshops||Digital skills training|
|English lessons||Networking techniques|
|Application form workshop||On-line learning tools and resources|
|Job-search techniques||Volunteering and work placement information sessions|
|Identifying transferable skills||Industry specific information session|
|Effective personal marketing||Self-employment information session|
|Interview techniques||Practice interviews|
As Cormac predicted, Ada found full-time employment in November of this year, just two months after beginning her client journey with him.
“I knew she would get a callback. Then it was a case of preparing for the interview process. She had the experience, she had the skill, she just needed to sell it.”
The work doesn’t end there though. Ada and Cormac will continue to check in with each other to help her navigate balancing full-time employment with the other elements of her life.
“Like any big change, the first week and the first month are the most challenging. I just want her to know I’m still here for her; still able to provide support. It’s good to know there’s someone in your corner fighting for you.”
Have you recently been granted the right to work in Ireland? Would you like help with various aspects of navigating the Irish job market? The Welcome to Work programme, offered by Seetec Galway, is designed to support legally resident migrants in Ireland with the development of their employability skills.
If you are in the Galway area and interested in participating in this programme, please contact Daria on 087 136 3941 or /Daria.Chamot@seetec.ie
*Ada’s name has been changed to safeguard her privacy and anonymity.
Welcome to Work is delivered in partnership with the European Social Fund and is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.