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Council welcomes new recruits for Job Shadow Day

17 May 2019

Derry City and Strabane District Council welcomed a team of new recruits this week who had the opportunity to shadow staff and pick up some new skills as part of Job Shadow Day.

The Job Shadow Day is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE) and is supported by its members. The initiative is designed to give people with disabilities an opportunity to get firsthand experience of the world of work and to discover and learn about the skills required to compete and succeed in the workplace.

Job seekers have the opportunity to shadow a workplace mentor as he or she goes about their daily duties. The workplace opportunities cover a wide range of jobs (for example retail, catering and hospitality, administration, teaching, education, design, IT, ground maintenance, policy, statistician, archiving, journalist, and tourism) and employment sectors – public, private and community/voluntary.

Five participants gained experience in a number of job roles at Council facilities, working with staff in the Guildhall, Human Resources,  Digital Services, Festivals and Events, Council’s reception and at Derg Valley Leisure Centre over the course of the day.

Norman Sterritt, Chairperson, NIUSE, said that the experience was of benefit to both job seekers and employers. “The impact of last year’s Job Shadow Day further surpassed NIUSE expectations from the number of job seekers, employers and Supported Employment organisations taking part.

“The Job Shadow day is more than just providing work experience for one day, it’s about raising awareness and promoting equality in the work place, promoting positive action recruitment (#5stepguide) and has led to further work experience and offers of employment”

HR Officer Katrina Bradley, who co-ordinated Job Shadow Day on behalf of Council, said that feedback from staff and participants was very positive.

“Council was delighted to take part in Job Shadow Day and give people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged situations the unique opportunity to experience the world of work and to discover and learn about the skills required to compete and succeed in the work place.

“It successfully brought job seekers directly in contact with our staff and allowed us to see at first hand the valuable contribution people with disabilities can, and do make every day in the workplace.”

Employers also see the real benefits of participating in the Job Shadow Day, as Leah McIlwaine from Good 4U explained. “Whilst taking part in Job Shadow Day, in partnership with Triangle Progression to Employment service, we welcome this fantastic opportunity to see the abilities of those job seekers with learning disabilities and allow them to show their potential and what they can bring to our business.”

Job Shadow Day is an annual initiative co-ordinated by NIUSE.  For further information about Job Shadow Day initiative or Supported Employment contact NIUSE on [email protected] @niuse_tweets  ,  #JobShadowDay2019 , #SupportedEmployment