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The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID), situated within the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin launched a Business Partners programme, promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace on Monday the 24th of October 2016. The launch event was hosted by Bank of Ireland at a special breakfast briefing in the House of Lords with a number of companies in attendance.

The TCPID Business Partners programme is made up of a group of forward thinking companies who are committed to the values of inclusive recruitment policies. They strongly believe in harnessing potential and talent from all parts of society. These companies will join the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities in its progressive work, promoting the inclusion of one of the most marginalised groups in society. There are many ways that a business partner can get involved with the Centre such as work placements, mentoring, coaching, giving presentations or talks to students and ongoing employment.

Bank of Ireland CEO, Richie Boucher who hosted the event said: Bank of Ireland has actively partnered with the Centre for a number of years, primarily through the provision of work placements for its programme participants. The experience has been both hugely positive for the Bank and rewarding for our colleagues. What we have found is the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace has brought numerous benefits - it contributes to team-building, increases motivation, and fosters openness, acceptance and inclusiveness.

CEO CPL and IBEC President, Anne Heraty said: The TCPID Business Partners Programme will facilitate the formation of many productive partnerships. It will join the TCPID in its work in promoting real inclusion in the workplace and will play a key role as champions and ambassadors.

Graduates of the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities also spoke at the launch. The graduates included Kieran Biddulph and Mei Lin Yap who both formerly did work experience at Bank of Ireland. Mei Lin is currently working at St Vincents University Hospital and is part of a team developing a new course called How to Support People with Disabilities in Trinity College Dublin. They were joined by Tomas Murphy, another graduate of the TCPID who is now a permanent employee with A&L Goodbody.

TCPIDs Pathways Coordinator, Marie Devitt announced at the event, that its new Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice is now aligned to Level Five on the National Framework of Qualifications. This means that students will now receive a formal qualification on graduating. The graduates will be prepared to work in diverse employment settings and will also be able to progress to advanced certificate programmes in further education institutions or institutes of technology. The practical engagement and financial support of our Business Partners play a critical role in enabling the TCPID to provide transformative opportunities for our students.