Amanda Slattery, Ballyhoura Development with Minister of State for Justice & Equality David Stanton, T.D. and Carrie O'Donoghue, Ballyhoura Development at the launch in Limerick. (Cathal Noonan)

A new programme to support women back into the workplace, particularly in the area of healthcare, has been launched by Ballyhoura Development in partnership with SECAD. 

Funded under the Programme for Equality Learning and Inclusion, the programme will particularly target women living in rural areas in Limerick and Cork.

“This programme has been developed to support women who want to return to work, but have been detached from the labour market or maybe with lower levels of formal education or skills have been unable to enter the labour market,” said Padraig Casey, Chief Executive, Ballyhoura Development.

“As well as accredited training and skills, such as a recognised QQI Level 5 qualification in Health Care, this programme will help participants to progress by improving their confidence, skills and knowledge to return to the labour market. We will be delivering the programmes over 3 years from 2017 to 2019 in 4 locations across Cork and Limerick.”

The care industry in Ireland is a major growth area, with strong demand for carers, home care support, medical assistants and healthcare support workers. This programme has been designed to meet the needs of the ever-growing care industry in Ireland with work experience built into the programme to support increased understanding of client care and care settings.

Managed by Ballyhoura Development in partnership with SECAD, the programme enables full participation by designing a flexible training programme with ongoing personal and professional supports. Ongoing mentoring and coaching throughout the programme will increase completion rates and enhance the level of accredited learning.

The Healthcare Opportunities training network will provide a facilitated support mechanism to participants to encourage commitment throughout the training and into sustainable employment.

Improved levels of education will improve future sustainable employment prospects and thereby create economic independence and reduce the risk of poverty in older years.