Support for new entrants into the skilled professions.
Community Employment supports ties in a community workplace (i.e. working for supporting organizations such as Special Olympics or Cari) and provides a route for people who want to work in those areas.
For me, the CE scheme allows two of those key points to be achieved. I am returning to work after a number of years on Carer’s Allowance as the sole carer for my autistic daughter.
As a single parent there is only me to respond to the requests of the therapeutic and caring teams. She has moved into full time care but there are still a plethora of meetings and appointments necessary for me to attend. Trying to balance my commitment to her with the commitment of a full time job would be almost impossible.
Secondly, I found myself this summer in and out of hospital with a major medical incident which I am slowly recovering from.
The Fountain Resource Group’s journalism CE placement allows me to do a job I am interested in and have some skills in but without the highly demanding environment of private employers. It is allowing me to develop skills which will be useful and ones I would look to expand. It allows me to participate in and support a community.
While researching this piece, I did a trawl through Jobs Ireland’s listing of CE Scheme placements in the Dublin area. By far the largest grouping were child care, caretakers, shop assistants, drivers, etc, for community groups and charities. But among them were positions for trainee carpenter, tour guide, marketing, HR assistants, sports instructor assistants, gardeners, physiotherapist assistant, accounts assistants and a TV production assistant.
In many professions the role for apprentices and apprenticeships are gone. We expect training to be provided by colleges and student graduates to be ready for work. This denies the reality that not all of us learn our skills through full time colleges and that employers are ready to support newly trained workers entering into their field.
CE Schemes are that bridge to entry into the more highly skilled professions.
Finally for a number of us CE Schemes that support charities and organizations that are important for us allow us to start the networking needed to work in some of these specialized areas as a career development. Beginning a career in marketing might be more rewarding for learning your skills while supporting Special Olympics Ireland and working in Special Olympics Ireland could lead to a career in that supporting community.
CE Schemes have a rich and varied role in supporting individuals and communities. Long may they last.