The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Maolíosa McHugh hosted a reception today to honour those who took part in Job Shadow Day on 25 April at various locations and departments across the Derry City and Strabane District Council Offices.
This was the first year that the Job Shadow Day initiative had taken place. The initiative was organised by the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE) in conjunction with their member organisations and was part of wider initiative across Europe with over 14 countries taking part.
Council was one of over 100 employers who signed up to take part in the initiative, which provided people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged situations to shadow a workplace mentor.
Among the departments at Council that participated in the Job Shadow Day initiative and hosted a work placement was the Guildhall, the Council reception, the City Cemetery, the cleansing and fleet departments at Skeoge and Strahans Road, and the Skills section.
Praising everyone involved in the scheme, the Mayor Cllr McHugh said he was delighted to host a reception to acknowledge the effort of everyone involved in making it such a success. He praised the students for taking part and said he hoped they got an insight into the workings of the Council and enjoyed their experience.
He also acknowledged the effort of Council staff for taking part in the initiative and giving up their time to support participants.
He said: “I am delighted that Council signed up to this initiative and that both the Council staff and job seekers both benefited from the experience. Job Shadow Day is a great opportunity for employers like the Council to highlight and celebrate the many benefits that the Supported Employment model can bring to all parties interested in advancing employment opportunities.”
Katrina Bradley, HR Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council who co-ordinated Job Shadow Day on behalf of the Council said it was a great success for everyone involved and 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 get a close up look at 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 in the workplace.”
Edyth Dunlop, Regional Manager, NIUSE was delighted that the Derry City and Strabane District Council took part in the inaugural Job Shadow Day initiative and hoped that other Councils would follow their lead. Due to the success NIUSE intends that the Job Shadow Day initiative will become an annual event