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‘Hospitality Inc’ to provide pathway to employment for people with disabilities in Mayo




‘Hospitality Inc’ training academy to provide pathway to employment for people with disabilities in Mayo

National Learning Network (NLN), the training and educational division of Rehab Group, has received funding to set up a new initiative to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the hospitality sector.

The initiative, called; ‘Hospitality Inc.,’ is being rolled out in partnership with Mayo Sligo Leitrim Educational Training Board (MSLETB), Westport Chamber of Commerce, Destination Westport and the Irish Hotels Federation (Mayo Branch). The initiative has received funding to the tune of €123,656 from a fund allocated to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The aim of Hospitality Inc. is to support people with disabilities through training and securing employment with participating businesses in the industry.

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, announced a total funding package of €7.5 million to support 45 projects aimed at creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The funding is part of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2021 and is administered by the Department of Social Protection in conjunction with Pobal.

The funding will go toward delivering a ‘Hospitality Inclusive Training Academy’ in Westport, as well as overseeing participants’ transition and progression to employment opportunities that uphold inclusive practices once they have graduated.

Members of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, Destination Westport and the Irish Hotel Federation, Mayo Branch will offer placements and employment opportunities to the students of the academy. The funding will also go towards providing a sustainable, inclusive model for employing those living with a disability in the hospitality industry.

MSLETB is a valued partner to the initiative, contributing training places to give participants the best opportunity to succeed at interview and restart or start their careers in hospitality. Hospitality Inc. participants will have reskilling and upskilling opportunities linked to defined need among members of Westport Chamber, Destination Westport and the Irish Hotel Federation, Mayo Branch.

Head of Employability with Rehab Group, Adrian Stewart said: “We are delighted to receive this funding for this exciting initiative. People with disabilities in Ireland are four times more likely to be unemployed. Tailored programmes like Hospitality Inc. could go a long way to address this and reduce poverty and exclusion for people with disabilities. Hospitality Inc. will see participants receive accredited training in Employment Skills, to improve their basic employability skills and we will be working with people every step of the way from training to work placement to securing a contract with supportive employers on a disability inclusion journey. Many employers have been finding it difficult to find staff in the sector since the country reopened, employers who want to make their workplaces more inclusive and productive by actively seeking out and hiring people with disabilities will reap many benefits. I want to thank the Minister and all of our partners for their support with this initiative.”

Helen Gavin, President of the Westport Chamber of Commerce said: “We are delighted to support this initiative, which will create meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities in our community. It goes hand in hand with the accessibility audit currently being undertaken of our town. Westport Chamber of Commerce has been running a Community Employment Scheme offering inclusive employment opportunities and has supported people with disabilities to progress careers through the scheme and onto other employment for many years. This is the next step on our inclusivity journey. Our goal is to make Westport the number one accessible and inclusive holiday destination in the country and this initiative will go a long way toward getting us to that point. “

If you want to find out more about Hospitality Inc. go to nln.ie or contact MSLETB

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To request more information or to request an interview please contact Senior Communications Officer, Ciara Heffernan at Ciara.heffernan@rehab.ie or 087 9728513

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