Community and voluntary groups who work with people with disabilities with a view to improving their employment outcomes should apply now for funding under a €5 million nation-wide fund, according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.
The funding for the scheme was announced by Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, TD, all applications are now open and will continue to be accepted until May 6, Deputy Phelan said.
“Minister Humphreys is making up to €5 million available this year under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2021 to support initiatives of voluntary and community groups that will focus exclusively on improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
“To avail of the funding, projects must show how they will support people with disabilities to access employment, improve their career progression opportunities “in work” and improve their employment outcomes through education and training which will contribute to participants being “work ready”.
“Projects designed to support potential employers to provide employment for people with a disability will also be considered,” Deputy Phelan revealed.
Groups can apply for funding of up to €200,000 under this measure, Deputy Phelan said. “Applications are welcome from organisations who can demonstrate that they are “supporting or providing services to People with a Disability” as the significant part of their main purpose and mandate, while having a proven track record of successfully working with People with a Disability.”
Applications which demonstrate strong partnership principles in order to maximise the impact of the project are particularly encouraged. For example, projects which demonstrate collaboration between potential employers, training and education services. In any applications provided by such a consortium, the lead applicant must always be the organisation with expertise in working with People with Disabilities.
Minister Humphreys commented: “I am delighted on the closing day of the 2021 Social Inclusion Forum to announce this new €5 million Fund which is aimed at supporting the employment of people with disabilities. This is one of a number of measures that my Department is now providing to support the employment prospects of people with disabilities.
“The past twelve months have been very challenging for so many people including people with disabilities. We need to make every effort to ensure that opportunities are given to people with disabilities to gain employment as this is one of the key routes towards social inclusion,” Minister Humphreys added.
Pobal is managing the process on behalf of the Department. With effect from Monday, 19th April, applicants will be able to download the application form and guidelines from the website www.pobal.ie. Voluntary and community groups have until May 6 to make an application.
It is expected that the successful initiatives will commence in September 2021 and will run until December 2022.
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