“If Jobfit, through the the Rehab group tendered again, we would be confident that we would get the funding to do it because we have the track record.”
DEPUTY Kieran O’Donnell has pledged his support for a pilot jobs programme which is due to close at the end of the month despite securing employment for over 40 people and having a waiting list of over 180 unemployed people.
Almost 200 people from across Limerick have received training at the JobFit centre at Watch House Cross, Moyross, and word of its success soon spread, leading to a long waiting list of people anxious to avail of the hands-on practical training that prepares participants for the work place.
“JobFit is carrying out excellent work in terms of retraining and is very much focused on getting people back into the work force. I will be taking the matter up with the newly appointed Minister for Education looking for the scheme to be continued,” Deputy O’Donnell told the Limerick Chronicle.
Centre manager, Brian Carmody, explained that the contract for JobFit was extended to March 31 but staff and participants had hoped that funding would be provided for it to continue. The general election meant the programme was not assessed at government level, but it is hoped that since newly elected TDs, Kieran O’Donnell and Jan O’Sullivan pledged their support for JobFit pre-election, that the programme will be reactivated in the coming months.
“I have no doubt that once this programme is assessed by the government that a programme like this will be reactivated again in Limerick and nationwide. It is unfortunate at the moment that with the political upheaval, the programme hasn’t had the chance to be assessed and new funding provided,” Mr Carmody said.
“If Jobfit, through the Rehab group tendered again, we would be confident that we would get the funding to do it because we have the track record.”
Seven people work at JobFit in Limerick providing training for participants in computer literacy, work orientation, developing their CV, as well as other practical work place skills, and all the courses provided are FETAC accredited. The programme did not just provide people with skills for the work place, it also provided them with hope and the centre is always a hive of activity and positivity when people are working hard to achieve their accreditation during the 13-week course.
Of the 11 centres nationwide, Limerick was in the top three for successfully achieving it’s targets, and the centre manage puts that down to the uptake from enthusiastic people and the fact that the programme caters for people who have been unemployed for more than three months.
He is confident that Kieran O’Donnell and Jan O’Sullivan will keep their word. “All of them were adamant that if their parties got into power that they would do absolutely everything in their power to make sure that a programme like this in Limerick would stay running or would happen again. They saw the results on the ground, they spoke to the people here.”