Course leader and Employment Support Worker Siobhan O’Neill. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Last chance for return to work course

It’s run for almost five years and has helped over 150 women so far, changing some of their lives forever.

Cork City Partnership is now taking applications for the final intake of its successful Growing Your Potential course.

The initiative is designed to provide a boost in skills and confidence to women who may wish to return to employment outside the home, following a period out of the workforce.

The free six-week online programme is set to kick off in the next fortnight and places are limited. To mark the end of the course’s run, the Partnership has conducted a survey of past participants to gauge its popularity.

The results of the online research showed:

• 83% of respondents who got a job after the course said the course was ‘really helpful’ or ‘quite helpful’ in securing employment

• 99% of respondents rated the course trainers as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’

• 100% of respondents rated the course content as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’

• 99% of those who took part in the survey said the course resulted in ‘significant improvement’ or ‘some improvement’ on their confidence and self esteem.

Chief Executive at Cork City Partnership Brenda Cahill is proud of what the course has helped participants achieve.

“We’ve known since the early days of Growing Your Potential that it would be one of the best initiatives we've had to offer our locality. It’s truly inspiring to see that reflected in this research and the results are a brilliant tribute to the hard work of the course trainers and the participants themselves. We’ve learnt so much that we can bring to future projects and we know its impact will be felt for years to come.”

Course leader and Employment Support Worker Siobhan O’Neill says this round of Growing Your Potential, which will begin in the next fortnight, will be special.

“My message is to women who heard about our course in the past and thought about signing up, but put it off. This is about doing something for yourself, it builds on the skills you didn’t know you had, prepares you for a fresh start in your working life and helps you make new friends and contacts,” she said.

“We’ve had women tell us this course is life-changing, and the survey showed more than half of women found the confidence the course gave them was the most useful aspect to it. Now is this final opportunity to be part of this and we want to hear from you.”

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