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Covid edition of Career LEAP prepares young people for the workplace

Career LEAP - Carmel OSullivan

Career LEAP is an innovative, and tried and tested work readiness programme for young people aged 18-25 from marginalised backgrounds. It has been uniquely developed through a partnership approach between Trinity College, East Wall Youth, Swan Youth Service and local businesses in the docklands area. The specially adapted Covid edition was designed to prepare young people to be ready for diverse work opportunities in a radically changed environment.

Developed in 2016 by Prof Carmel O’Sullivan, School of Education, Trinity College, with her colleagues, Assoc. Prof Jennifer Symonds (UCD) and Assoc. Prof Jos Akkermans (VU Amsterdam), Career LEAP is a fully integrated programme (including three weeks of work readiness training made up of ten short modules, followed by a three-week unpaid placement offered by local businesses). The programme is funded by the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) and the NEIC (Task Force for the North East Inner City).

Despite Covid challenges, Career LEAP was enabled to run this year through the enormous support of local businesses, such as The Spencer Hotel who provided the venue, Walls Construction, A&L Goodbody, Central Bank, Core Estate Management, Beauchamps, Marks & Spencers, Kelly’s HomeValue, iTrust Ethics, and many more. Mutual benefits have been reported by both business partners and young people in a win-win scenario this year.

The programme would not be possible without the support of local businesses and community members, and funding from the CDETB and NEIC, but most importantly, the commitment of so many enthusiastic young people and the Career LEAP team.

Professor Carmel O’Sullivan
RTÉ, November 30th 2020

Our approach is evidence based. We looked and learned from other programmes all over the world, and what we discovered was that the businesses need to understand the young people coming in, and the young people need to understand the business that they are going into. As part of Career LEAP, Trinity provides a CPD training programme for our business partners, and over 160 have committed and participated to date from many of the major companies in the docklands area. Providing both parties, businesses and young people with relevant training gives everyone the best chance of success.