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Image shows Diathi Conlon with Francisco seated
Francisco heard about Employ Me on a TV advert and was interested in finding out more. "I had worked as an electrician but is now unemployed. I wanted to get back into education to re-train because there wasn't enough work for electricians. I enrolled onto the IT software class at Armagh Campus, this was totally new to me".
He was nervous at the start of the programme and was worried that he wouldn't be able to keep up with the rest of the class. "I should not have worried, the classes are so well delivered and I had no problems because the tutors are very supportive and encourage you to keep going."
Francisco completed his work placement at Website NI in Benburb. "This was a completely new environment and it was good to get experience in the industry. It was a fantastic placement for me because they understood that I was a beginner and the staff were very helpful, as I was very keen to learn."
Manager Daithi Conlon was very positive about Francisco's placement. "I wanted to give someone an opportunity to gain some experience and help them learn. Francisco has a very good attitude to work and always asked a lot of questions. Employ Me is very positive and I would recommend that other companies consider taking on a student."
Francisco says he is more positive about the future and wishes to continue in this industry. He is thinking about completing more courses at SRC. "It is very rewarding to learn something new and Employ Me is a great opportunity for anyone who is out of work or wants to re-train. It is very well supported and very well administered. I am just sorry it is over, it's brilliant!"
Seated Jill McKnight Employ Me student, Standing: Eva Dunlop Emmett Kelly & Co Solicitors
Jill had a number of jobs in the past including hairdressing, factory work and retail. She found herself unemployed in 2010 and enrolled with SRC on to the Skills for Retail programme. Once this ended, she heard about Employ Me and this was of interest to her.
"I had gained retail qualifications so I wanted to do something different. I decided to complete the Business and Administration course because I wanted to learn more in that area and get relevant qualifications because I had never worked in that before. I thought by having retail and business qualifications I would enhance my employability options."
Jill completed her course at Lurgan campus and was placed with Emmett Kelly & Co Solicitors in Banbridge. "I am sorry my placement is coming to an end because I have really enjoyed it. It has opened up this area to me and I am already continuing to do level two text processing at night class. I would like to gain more experience in administration and get a job in this area."
Placement supervisor Eva Dunlop said "Jill has got on really well and has been able to help me out with office duties. Employ Me is a really good programme for people out of work and gives them the experience they need".
Jill is even thinking about setting up her own business. "It is something I am interested in for the future, I am keeping my options open!"
L-R Sean Bennett Bennetts Seafood Bar & Restaurant, Shane McAteer Employ Me student, Roisin Murray-Gibbons SRC Tutor
Shane trained as a bricklayer and recently became unemployed as a result of the downturn in the construction sector. He contacted SRC in August 2011 and enrolled on the DEL/ESF funded Employ Me programme - Hospitality Pathway at Newry Campus.
Shane has completed the ABC Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to the Hospitality Industry, CIEH Level 2 Award in Food Safety and C&G Essential Skills English and Maths as part of the Employ Me Package. Incorporated into this programme is a 10 week work placement element.
Shane completed his work placement with a local employer Bennetts Seafood Bar and Restaurant Warrenpoint, Co Down. Mr Sean Bennett was so impressed with Shane's ability and quick learning in his busy restaurant, Sean has offered Shane part-time employment within his business. Sean commented "Shane is a good student, very hard worker and team player. He came here with no catering experience and has learned a lot over the past 10 weeks. I am happy to offer Shane part-time employment and will encourage Shane to further his studies with SRC. Employ Me is a very good programme helping unemployed people upskill and enter employment, but also gaining valuable qualifications at the same time".
Lily Devlin, Bennetts Head Chef added "Shane was a great asset to the team. He has progressed very well over the duration of the placement and can now fillet a range of fresh seafood on his own under a very busy working environment".
Shane has enjoyed Employ Me and is delighted to be offered part-time employment with Bennetts Bar and Restaurant. He is very thankful to Sean Bennett for giving him this opportunity. Shane successfully completed his Employ Me programme in March 2012 and aspires to apply for a place on the part-time Level 2 Professional Chef qualifications at SRC in September 2012. Shane commented "This is my first time ever working in a professional kitchen. Previously I worked in the construction sector as a bricklayer. I really enjoy cooking and Employ Me has given me the enthusiasm to progress on to do my chef qualifications at SRC". He is now clear on his career path and wants to work in the catering sector in the long term.
L-R Sittal Ale Employ Me student, Bernice Rafferty, Berling, Aisling Rafferty, Berling
Sittal Ale has been unemployed since 2010. She found out about Employ Me from her local Jobs & Benefits office. As a result made contact with the SRC Employ Me team in August 2011 and enrolled on the Retail pathway of the programme.
Sittal has thoroughly enjoyed Employ Me as it allowed her to develop new skills in retail and she now feels confident to work in a retail store in a fashion outlet. She has gained new qualifications through the programme to include: ABC Level 2 Certificate in Retail Knowledge; NOCN Level 2 Award in Employability and OCR ITQ.
Sittal successfully completed a 10 week industry placement with a local retailer, Berling Boutique based in Newry. Aisling Rafferty, Proprietor commented "Sittal showed great initiative finding duties in the store that needed addressed. She carried out a broad range of retail duties from basic cleaning, customer service, merchandising existing and new stock and pricing new items. She was always courteous and helpful to me and my valued customers." Bernice Rafferty added "it was great to have a student that has new fresh knowledge that can be transferred in our store".
Sittal feels that Employ Me has given her encouragement to develop herself and hopes to find a job soon.
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