WALK interns benefit from OWL programme

By Maurice Garvey

INTERNS on an Oireachtas programme are supported by Walkinstown based organisation WALK and social service centre KARE.

The Oireachtas Work and Learn (OWL) Programme offers a unique 11 month internship programme for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Owl Programme

Staff members from WALK and KARE with interns participating in the programme

It provides them with the opportunity to gain practical work experience and be accredited for their learning.

The programme is a four-way partnership between the Houses of the Oireachtas, WALK, KARE and the Adult Education Service of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board.

During their time in the programme, interns will complete three 12-week work rotations in different work areas across the Oireachtas, expanding their employability skill set.

The ultimate aim of this programme is to support interns to access paid careers in the open labour market.

The programme was officially launched in the Houses of the Oireachtas on September 25 by Ceann Comhairle, Sean O Fearghail, and it is the first programme of its kind to be undertaken by any parliament in the world.

“For some of the interns, this is their first taste of what work is like,” said WALK Director of Services Catherine Kelly.

She believes the programme will help interns develop relationships, learn networking skills and grow confidence.

The programme was developed following on from the huge success of the WALKways Tallaght University Hospital Programme that started in 2017.

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