After a few weeks of deliberation, I’ve decided to go back to college. Although I love being at home with the children, taking them to school, picking them up, being around if they forget their lunch, swimming gear etc. after chatting with my dear friend Earthie and sister-in-law-to-be-eventually-if-B.I.L.-asks-her-to-marry-him, I decided that the job for me is THIS.
Oh sorry! I meant THIS
Background & Benefits
The Expanding the Workforce programme has been developed to overcome barriers faced by women when considering a return to working life. In reality, most of their concerns are less of an issue than they initially perceive as outlined below.
- Low levels of confidence and self-esteem are a significant stumbling block for women returning to the workforce; one of the biggest challenges is to get them to recognise and acknowledge the skills that they already possess.
- Redundant skills and subsequent skills gaps are less of a barrier than women believe them to be. Work experience acts as a reality check here, allowing women the opportunity to see that they may need smaller inputs of training than anticipated.
- Lack of reference points/no recent work experience is less of an issue than suspected. Despite being out of paid employment for a number of years, many women have learnt transferable skills through other avenues, such as evening courses, voluntary/society work, etc.
- There is a perception of difficulties associated with balancing work and family life. The ETW Programme tackles this through a combination of information days, mediation and training.
- Childcare has not proved to be as big a barrier for this target group as initially thought. Many of the women entering this process fall into the late forties to fifties age bracket, and their children are at an age that they can look after themselves. Younger women are generally only returning after their children have reached school-going age; the supply of part-time training through this process therefore addresses many childcare needs.
For Women Returnees
- Meeting with FÁS to individually explore development needs for accessing work, to identify training needs and to implement an individual training plan;
- Personal development, career planning and assertiveness training;
- Specific skills training provided on a part-time flexible basis (e.g. morning delivery only, recognising school holidays, etc.);
- Assistance in finding relevant work experience and/or work;
- On-the-job training as appropriate/required;
- On-going support and mentoring once in employment.
- Access to an extensive database of women returnees;
- Focused recruitment and attraction of key talent to meet identified business requirements;
- Access to a wide range of training resources – both pre-employment and on-the-job;
- Reduced staff turnover through improved retention;
- Support provided by FÁS throughout the process;
- A free service.