The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., together with the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, T.D., ecently announced funding of €16 million for 27 projects* to deliver a new pre-activation Programme for young people with disabilities, called “Ability”.
The Ability Programme will provide supports to over 2,600 young people with disabilities aged between15 to 29 years old.
The focus of the Programme is on projects aimed at young people with disabilities and is designed to assist in their transition from school to further education, training and employment. The Programme will promote employment prospects and meaningful social roles for young people with disabilities and in particular, young people who are distant from the labour market, using a range of person-centered supports.
This announcement brings to fruition the results of a long-period of planning, consultation and assessment for the Department and its partner Pobal.
Initially it was expected that funding for the programme would amount to some €10 million over a three year period. However, given the quality of the proposals received by Pobal, funding has been put in place of €16 million to support all 27 projects recommended by Pobal.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister Doherty said, “The funding being made available, through the Ability programme, seeks to directly address the barriers faced by young people with disabilities. The programme seeks to support young people with disabilities, who are able to, and want to work, to navigate their individual transition period into employment and I welcome the roll out of the services to be provided by the various organisations over the next three years.”
The Ability Programme is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.