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ClanryeIT Celebrate Success

05 February 2014

Participants from ClanryeIT centres in Portadown, Armagh, Dungannon and Newry celebrated their achievements at a prestigious ‘Certificate Presentation Ceremony’ on Wednesday 18 December 2013 at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry. The mood on the day was electric as staff, participants (both past and present), funders, referral sources and employers soaked in the festive atmosphere and enjoyed a Christmas Dinner before proceedings got underway.

ClanryeIT Certicate Presentation

Back Row: Gabriel Campbell, Colm Curran, Anne-Marie Fegan, Brendan McBurney.

Front Row: Jerome Mullen, Julie Wilison, Bronagh McKeown, Ross Dolan.

ClanryeIT is a specialist ICT training provision for people with physical disabilities/health conditions.  It is funded by the European Social Fund, Department for Employment and Learning and Southern Health and Social Care Trust. For over 20 years it has provided ICT training and employment opportunities to unemployed people with a physical disability/health condition.  ClanryeIT’s service is available across the whole southern region and trainees gathered together from their centres in Dungannon, Armagh, Portadown and Newry to share in one another’s success.   

ClanryeIT is unique whereby training is delivered at the pace of the individual and not pitched to a class.  To ensure participants receive sufficient input to aid their progression additional assistance is also offered to facilitate learning at home through the aid of the Distance Learning Support Workers.  This model has a proud proven track record and boasts of a 100% qualification pass rate.

Jerome Mullen, Chairman of Clanrye Group commended staff on their success and pointed out “ClanryeIT has grown from strength to strength over the years in becoming a credible training organisation for people with physical disabilities to gain skills, qualifications and experience to improve their chances of finding and securing meaningful employment.  As a result of the continued success of ClanryeIT funding has been secured for 20 years”.

On the day over 400 certificates were awarded to trainees who gained accredited qualifications at different levels from the British Computer Society (BCS), OCR, Open College Network (OCN) and City and Guilds.

“It was a very emotional event and indeed very encouraging to hear how peoples lives have been turned around through this and the great work and assistance from ClanryeIT” commented Bronagh McKeown, Head of Disability Support Services, Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

Speaking at the event Caron Marno, a former trainee of ClanryeIT, commented;

“I owe the staff of ClanryeIT a huge debt of gratitude.  After I was diagnosed with a serious health condition I went into severe depression and wouldn’t leave the house or answer the door.  No longer able to work as a cleaner and with no formal qualifications, I thought my life was over.  ClanryeIT turned this all around, restored my confidence and gave me hope.  I have now a list of qualifications under my belt to include a Diploma and have secured full-time employment as a legal secretary.  It is a different Christmas for me this year and all thanks to the encouragement and support I received at ClanryeIT.’ 

Over its 20 years ClanryeIT have developed links with employers both from the public and private sector which has been essential in bridging the gap for trainee progression from education and training to employment.  The portfolio of employers and placement practices has provided and continue to provide relevant and supportive work placements for our trainees. These have proven to be crucial in giving the candidates a hands on experience and a greater advantage when seeking employment, particularly in today’s tight labour market.

Anne Marie Fegan, ClanryeIT Manager, commented

“Our links with employers are precious….not only do our participants receive valuable practical experience but awareness is also created amongst employers of the potential and capabilities of people with physical disabilities and the contribution that can be made to the workforce.  We have had a number of participants over the years who have secured employment on the merit of their work placement”.

ClanryeIT would like to hear from you.  If you are unemployed and have a physical disability and would like to have a career using ICT skills, please contact Anne Marie Fegan on 028 30 261711 or email annemarie.fegan@clanryegroup.com.

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