Careers In Mind

Careers In Mind is an Education and Employability program run by Northside Partnership that supports women who have been long term excluded from the labour market back into education and work.

he program has at its core gender equality, giving back choices to women and facilitating access to sustainable long term employment. Careers In Mind is a multi-faceted program consisting of the following elements.

Initial advice and guidance Personal Profile building and action planning Confidence building and employability training Employer engagement QQI Level 3 Accreditation (Personal Effectiveness)

Educational tasters

1-1 Mentoring and support with progression to employment or education.

Since January 2020 the Careers In Mind team have been working with participants to create a bridge for them into employment supporting women to make meaningful progress in their journey towards the labour market. Our participants who are mainly drawn from our catchment area of North East Dublin are diverse experience a range of entry points. They include women who are returning to work after a long period of absence due to child or family care responsibilities, young lone parents, including early school leavers who have not experienced the labour market or education, and asylum seekers currently living in direct provision.

  1. Challenge Tackled

In line with UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 Quality Education and Goal 5 Gender Equality, Careers In Mind strives for equal participation of women in the workforce, the programme supports a diversity of women from different backgrounds and stages of life to achieve sustainable employment and overcome any barriers to economic exclusion. Our cohorts include, early school leavers and lone parents who have never worked, women emerging from long-term caring responsbilities or long-term illness to re-engage with the labour market, migrant women and women in the asylum system. Our program maps the experiences and lifeskills of each participant harnessing their talents and motivations towards new training and employment opportunities. In line with NSP’s foundational principle of Advantaged Thinking, Careers in Mind is committed to making a positive investment in participants by developing their strengths supporting them in lifelong learning, employment and personal development. We understand that each participant who comes to us has a unique set of attributes to offer the labour market. We help them to explore their strengths and perceived barriers through our personal development module helping them to root out negative thinking about themselves. This process of learning leads to meaningful goal setting and action planning facilitating women to see themselves as having equitable access to the labour market especially markets where women are typically underrepresented and building their confidence to access opportunities through relevant training opportunities, mentoring and career preparation.

In line with Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Careers In Mind supports women who are at a distance from the labour market to achieve quality educational opportunities and work towards achieving meaningful and long-term working opportunities. We work with participants, employers and local education providers to connect women with opportunities to realise their potential. Our programme rests upon the principle that employment and participation in meaningful activity is necessary for wellbeing and for women to reach their potential and contribute to society.

  1. Target group, beneficiaries or clients
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  2. Solution

The programme has to date supported 75 women back into education and training with a goal of engaging with 150 women by programme end date. The programme has as its core focus quality education and training experiences for women returning to the labour force, supporting them to build their confidence, develop action plans, achieve accreditation and make progress towards their ambitions. Women are supported to explore their strengths, talents and skills as they navigate a new journey to employment through lifelong learning.

  1. Innovation
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  2. Unique Selling Point

While Careers in Mind is an employability programme that focusses on getting women back into the workforce it represents so much more than that. Each one of the participants on the programme comes to us at a particular stage of their own

personal journey. We cover topics such as CV prep, interview skills and employability training but we also provide a space that allows women to share their personal experiences and build a community together where they can support, encourage

and empower one another.

The programme is underpinned by Northside Partnership’s Advantage thinking approach, focussing on a participant’s strengths, not their limitations. This approach aids us in developing a space where women feel like they can achieve their goals by exploring their own unique abilities.

We also offer an opportunity for our participants to engage in education at QQI level 3 . For some of our participants this has been a new beginning to their educational journey. Completion of the programme and receiving their certificates is an immense source of pride for the participants . Not only is it a boost to their personal confidence , it also allows them to reimagine, the person they are and the person they could become .

  1. Impact

To date 36 women out of 75 have progressed to education and training.

26 women progressed to employment.

27 women have achieved a QQI level 3 unit module while completing the programme.

95% of women reported higher levels of confidence and self-esteem having attended the programme.

Most women reported improved communication skills verbally and written having attended the programme.

One of our participants regularly returns to the programme as a guest speaker to inspire new participants as they begin their journey with us. This has been well-recieved by current participants as embark on their learning.

During and upon completion of the CIM programme, I have observed improvements in my clients’ confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Despite different lives, circumstances and cultures, my clients have reported reduction in anxiety, improved mental health, and have identified feeling a sense of purpose as women, making their own choices and following their own

dreams, independent of their circumstances and roles and responsibilities in their families. As a Family Support Worker, it is ieally nice to see the women we work with feeling empowered and having goals for themselves which improve their opportunities, health and wellbeing, and can increase their economic independence. 

  1. Feasibility/Transferability
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Potential 81%