New appointment at Dundalk LES
Brenda Beattie, who took up the post as mediator with the Dundalk Local Employment Service Network, based in Partnership Court, Park Street, brings a wealth of experience to her job.
She joined the team at the public employment service in April, having previously worked with Monaghan Integrated Development, which is similar to Louth Leader Partnership, as a Peace IV Project Worker.
This saw her working closely with groups such as the Men's Shed groups in Co Monaghan as well as organising conversational English classes for members of new communities in the county.
Prior to that, she has worked with Network Personnel, Monaghan, as an employment engagement officer, a administering the Jobpath programme. She also has extensive experience in the private sector, working in sales and business development in Ireland and the United States.
The Local Employment Service provides a range of supports and services for those looking to enter the jobs market.
'While the unemployment rate is down to 4.9 per cent nationally, Dundalk is a big town, so there are still a lot of challenges and a lot of people requiring support,' she says. The latest figures from the CSO show that there are 3,233 people on the live register in Dundalk.
There are areas where intergenerational unemployment is still a problem and LES works to break the cycle of joblessness. 'LES is a very valuable service and offers great opportunities for people to avail of further education or training,' she continues.
The service helps people who have been long term unemployed or returning to the workplace after some time, to get the skills they need to get a job, as well as people who face particular challenges such as one parent families, early school leavers, people with disabilities, travellers, ex-prisoners.
'There are a lot of women who would like to enter the workplace after taking time out to raise children or care for elderly parents,' says Brenda,
As mediator, Brenda works with those who have been referred to LES to identify the training and supports they need. Clients are given employment support, including interview skills and CV preparation, career guidance, job search resources and information on local education and training courses, employment initiatives and labour market schemes and advice on social welfare entitlements. There is also the Jobs Club which helps people prepare for applying for jobs.