An initiative to help marginalised groups in society to gain access to workplaces through training and employment experience was launched in Dublin on Thursday.
The “Open Doors” programme sees 14 private sector companies coming together to promote more diverse work environments.
At the launch event, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “We know that people can face barriers to entering the workforce, for example, people with disabilities; young people with educational challenges; or migrants and refugees who are non-native English speakers. It’s time to raise and remove those barriers.”
‘Accepted and included’
Mei Lin Yapp, who took part in previous training and employment placement programmes and found permanent work with CPL Resources said she was proud to be part of its workforce.
“As a person with intellectual disability I am aware that when we dream big and others dream big for us then we can achieve our potential. Having a job makes me feel accepted and included and a fully fledged adult who can contribute to society,” she said.
Announcing that Diageo had committed an additional €1 million to increase the reach of this programme over the next three years, the company’s chief executive, Ivan Menezes, noted that “having good employment is a key factor in having a good way of life”.