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What is supported employment?

Find out more about the EmployAbility service


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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If you have a disability and want to take up or find a job, you might be able to get help from the EmployAbility Service. This used to be known as the Supported Employment Service and provides supports for people with disabilities to help them access jobs. The service provides on-the-job supports for both the potential employee and their employer.

What is the EmployAbility Service?

If you’re looking for work, the EmployAbility Service offers career advice, helps you identify your skills and assists you with finding suitable jobs. They also offer employment support after you find a job, including help with integrating into a new place of work and ongoing support if needed.

You can also use the service to find out about your rights and benefits at work. Remember that once you start a job, no matter what supports you’re getting, your employment rights are the same as anybody else’s.

One of the major services offered is job coaching. This involves a Job Coach helping you before, during and after your employment. Some of the things the coach can assist you with include:

  • Identifying what skills you have
  • Finding suitable employment that suits your needs and abilities
  • Drawing up a career plan based on your own ambitions
  • Planning the on-the-job supports you’ll need
  • Developing the skills you’ll need to do the job well.

In terms of finding work, your job coach can help by contacting possible employers in areas you’re interested in. In the event you or your employer feel a job isn’t working out, the job coach can step in and see if there’s anything that could be changed to make a difference.

Can I apply for this service?

In order to use the EmployAbility Service you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age and no older than 65. You’ll have to be able to prove that you genuinely need the support of a job coach to find and secure work. You’ll have to be job ready. Being job ready means you have the training, education, motivation and ability to look for employment. The service is free.

You can apply for the EmployAbility Service by registering at your local employment services office or Intreo office. You can also find your local EmployAbility service and contact them directly. 

Supports for Employers

As well as helping people with disabilities find and stay in work, the EmployAbility Service also offers advantages to employers. The service is effectively a free recruitment service with a large number of skilled jobseekers that employers can access. Job coaching can also be just as valuable to an employer as it is to an employee, helping to integrate people into the workforce and address any problems as they arise.

The service is also available to offer advice on employment grants and supports such as the Job Interview Interpreter Grant, the Personal Reader Grant, the Employee Retention Grant Scheme and the Workplace Equipment/Adaptation Grant. All of these can be enormously helpful to businesses meeting the needs of employees with disabilities. 

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Published Sep­tem­ber 28th2016
Tags employment disability disability services
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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