‘Careers Pathways’ Wins National Occupational Therapists Award

Posted on: 29 March 2016

Trinity College Dublin Careers Pathways initiative, a transition to employment project for students and graduates with mental health difficulties, has been awarded the National Ann Beckett Award 2015 from the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland.

The award was presented in recognition of the project’s core principles of empowerment, fostering community engagement, client involvement and enjoyment, sustainability and originality. Ann Beckett (1927-2002), a first cousin of Samuel Beckett and after whom the award is named, was one of the first occupational therapists to practise in Ireland and was a former lecturer in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy in Trinity.

Career Pathways is a collaborative project between the Disability Service, the Discipline of Occupational Therapy and the Careers Advisory Service, working together to develop this innovative approach to career preparation. Since its inception, the Genio Trust funded project has achieved a number of outcomes including:

  • 134 students with disabilities have availed of Career Pathways over the past two years.
  • Over 500 individual meetings have taken place between students and Occupational Therapists or Careers Advisers.
  • 74 students have been given access to the ePortfolio system, developed within the project to allow students to log their work-related experiences and engagement with resources available.
  • 45 students have attended monthly workshops and a three-day careers boot camp delivered by the Occupational Therapists, Careers Advisers, peers, and employers.
  • 49 Disability Service Ambassadors have been recruited, who will act as peer mentors to future students.
  • 26 Disability and Careers Service staff from four Dublin colleges have attended training workshops on supporting students with disabilities transition to employment.
  • 16 employers have connected with Career Pathways, with three large multi-national employers hosting events in their head offices.

Claire Gleeson, Kieran Lewis and Dr Clodagh Nolan, Trinity occupational therapists with Career Pathways at the presentation of the Ann Beckett Award at the AOTI National Seminar Day are congratulated by John O'Neil, O'Neill Healthcare, award sponsors (left) and Andrew Semple, Head of the AOTI Ann Beckett Committee (far right)

In addition, feedback from students who have engaged with Career Pathways has been very positive: “Through a series of workshops and one-to-one sessions, I’ve been able to work on my CV and interview presentation, giving me the confidence that I need to excel in the professional world” commented a student.

The Ann Beckett Award follows last year’s Association of Higher Education Careers Services Employability Award which the project received at the Annual GradIreland Graduate Recruitment Awards in May 2015.

Career Pathways is provided by Kieran Lewis and Claire Gleeson, Senior Occupational Therapists in the Disability Service and Eileen Daly, Careers Adviser for Students with Disabilities from the Careers Advisory Service. Oversight of the project is provided by Declan Treanor, Director of the Disability Service, Dr Clodagh Nolan, Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy and Clinical Director of Unilink and Sean Gannon, Director of the Careers Advisory Service.

For more information on Career Pathways please visit the Career Pathways website, or email the Career Pathways team.