Lockdown drives 85% increase in  demand for ground-breaking   course for women

Lockdown drives 85% increase in  demand for ground-breaking   course for women

Siobhan O’Neill (second left), Employment Support Worker from Cork City Partnership with: Niamh Murphy, Geraldine O'Connor and Frances McCarthy at the launch of the Cork City Partnership’s 'Grow Your Potential' course. Picture: Brian Lougheed

A GROUND-breaking course by Cork City Partnership, aimed at women working in the home in Cork City & environs, has proved to be a real success during lockdown. Applications for "Growing Your Potential", which moved entirely online because of the Pandemic, increased by 85%.

Cork City Partnership is once again inviting women based in Cork City and Environs to sign up for the next round of the free online course designed to draw on participants' experience of working in the home and putting it to new use.

"Growing Your Potential" is a free ten-week online course that supports women currently not in employment, but who have many transferable skills from their life experience.

The free online course offers a range of supports from confidence building, to working with online technology, networking, and interview technique. Participants will also benefit from coaching on presentation and dress codes to empower women to achieve economic independence.

Siobhán O'Neill from Cork City Partnership says, "There are over 7,000 women in Cork city who identify as working in the home. There has been an 80% increase in inquiries about the course since the start of the Pandemic. Of course, we would like to offer a place to everyone who contacts us – and we will try to achieve this if we can. Women looking to escape from the stresses of the COVID lockdown and find a bit of "me time" have found this online course is an ideal way to connect with others, build friendships, and build on skills they already have. We had started out running the course face to face, and when the country went into lockdown, we were afraid we would struggle with an online course. We were delighted to find that everyone rose to the challenge, and the course has gone from strength to strength".

Cork City Partnership's PEIL project has demonstrated that when women engage in a project such as this, their outlook on their employment prospects and their interest in getting a job improves markedly. As many as 50% enter employment after participating.

Cork City Partnership can further support participants should they wish to use their new skills to find employment, or start their own business.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune is amongst a group of women who will participate in video webinars to support the participants. She said, "I am delighted to see Cork City Partnership inviting women to sign-up for this course which is designed to draw on their experience of working in the home and put it to new use. Women who have worked in the home have many skills that employers will look for, such as maturity and stability. It can be a daunting experience to decide to go back to work once you have been out of the workforce for a while, but I would encourage women who are thinking about doing a course like this to go for it and be brave."

“Growing Your Potential” is an initiative by Cork City Partnership supported by PEIL and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS - Anyone interested in signing up for Growing Your Potential can visit http://corkcitypartnership.ie for more information. We can also be contacted by email at: info@partnershipcork.ie and by telephone: 021-4302310

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