Breaking down the job barrier
A MAJOR project to bring people with varied or mixed ability into the mainstream workforce is being championed by Malta Services in Drogheda.
Egidio Magliocco told a recent borough council meeting that it was the aim of the group to transform the lives of those with a disability – now referred to as varied ability – and who in the past were 'pensioned off at 16 years of age.'
He admitted some had been treated poorly in the past with no work contracts and no payment for services, but that was changing.
'We want to break down barriers and give everyone an equal chance of gaining employment,' he said.
'Supported employment' is the route they have gone, something introduced in America after the Vietnam War when wounded soldiers returned home, with few prospects.
'We support people through the process, both the job seeker and the employer. We have a job coach who talks with the candidates to find a fulfilling job match,' Egidio said.
A not-for-profit group, Malta Services feels employing a person with varied ability is the pinacle of a company's 'corporate and social responsibility', because it's jot just about 'giving money to a charity.'
In the next month the group will launch an awards scheme for employers and they want the community to back them.
'Giving a person from Malta Services a job takes them out of isolation and puts money in their pockets. It's about inclusiveness and equality,' he added.
The councillors backed the idea with Cllr. Frank Maher describing it as a 'pathway to independence' for people.
It was confirmed there were seven people in employment at the moment, from kitchens to creches.
Mayor Richie Culhane said it was great to see the business community coming on board too.