A GROUP of nine “Kickstart” graduates from Kilkenny city and county have spent the last few months improving their employability and upgrading and transferring their skills through training and job placement, funded by Kilkenny Leader Partnership.
This busy group recently took the opportunity of thanking the local businesses that participated in their programme at a lunch in Knockadrinna Restaurant in Stoneyford.
With backgrounds in diverse areas from insurance to cabinet making, the unemployed candidates spent five weeks building their capacities in information technology, presentation skills and project management. This gave them the confidence to assist local businesses in an innovative new project over six weeks.
Con Furney of Language Xchange Ireland was the first to start one of the candidates, Niall Mc Dermott, implementing child protection and setting up a quality assurance programme for the company. The company implements English language programmes in Ireland, providing work placements for groups of students and support to teachers and students throughout their stay in the South East. During their stay, the students are immersed in the English language, Irish culture, the workplace and in the life of their host families.
Also in attendance was Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic, which was established in Kilkenny in October 2011 by Ellen Roche. Ester Healy is working with the clinic on her placement. The company provides general healthy eating plans for all ages, weight-loss programmes, sports nutrition and pregnancy advice. As a dietitian, Ellen advises clients regarding the dietary treatment of health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders and wound healing.
Other businesses participating in the programme include a quality assurance programme with Knockadrinna Cheese, plus three social media projects with Café Sol restaurant, with Bob Monks supporting the content of its Facebook page. Student Supplies Ireland is also on Facebook, run by Robby Hoyne with Lake Distributors in the Hebron Industrial Estate, and the Pembroke Hotel is getting the message out about its facilities and services through a direct marketing campaign in association with its website and social media.
The specialised training for all of these activities has been funded by the Department of Social Protection education fund in association with Kilkenny Leader Partnership.
A second phase of the Kickstart programme will take place in September. Any employers and unemployed candidates who would like to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org.