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Tallaght Hospital and WALK launch a new Trainee Programme for those with learning disabilities


Tallaght Hospital & WALK have launched a new programme specifically for people with learning disabilities.

The new WALKways Tallaght Hospital programme will see 11 trainees join the Hospital and spend 11 months experiencing working life across the Hospital’s many different departments.

This programme is run as a partnership between Tallaght Hospital and WALK, a local community group involved in the education and training of young people with intellectual disabilities, across Leinster.

This morning a ceremony was held in the Hospitals Centre for Learning & Development, to formally launch the trainee programme.

This followed the completion of the Hospital’s induction programme by the trainees. The trainees were presented with their new staff ID by the Tallaght Hospital CEO David Slevin, Chairman Liam Dowdall as well as the CEO and Chairman of WALK Joe Mason & John Bourke.

Patrick Brennan a representative of the trainees planted a tree along with the CEO’s and Chairmen of both Tallaght Hospital & WALK, in a symbolic gesture to mark the launch of the new programme.

The 11 candidates were chosen over the summer in a special recruitment process.

They will each undertake three placements, lasting approximately 14 weeks, within various Hospital Departments including the Children’s Hospital, speech and language therapy, medical records, catering, portering and physiotherapy.

Within each department, they will be educated and provided with a range of work skills with a view to obtaining QQI level qualifications.

At the end of the programme, WALK will seek to place the trainees in paid employment with the assistance of a Business Support Network which will be set up to provide links into local industry.

Each trainee will also be assigned to a Business Support Network member as a mentor in order to get job-ready.

Liam Dowdall, Chairman of Tallaght Hospital, said this morning:

“This exciting new initiative is ideal for Tallaght Hospital which has long been engaged and active in the local community.

“I wish to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to our incoming trainees. I hope they have a very worthwhile and fulfilling experience here at the Hospital.

“We pride ourselves on our important values of people caring for people. I am confident that the new trainees will be part of putting that ethos into action.”

Sharon Larkin, Acting HR Director at Tallaght Hospital, commented that “I am proud to be part of this very important initiative, it’s such a positive step towards recognising the positive aspects of diverse team working and fits so well with the culture and values of the Hospital. I would like to take the opportunity to thank WALK and in particular the Job Coaches who have worked so closely with us since the start of the year in order to successfully launch the programme. We look forward to continued success and in particular for the trainees who are the focus of our combined efforts.“

Catherine Kelly, Director of WALK, added:

“This exciting new partnership with Tallaght Hospital offers an excellent opportunity to experience the world of work at a major hospital.

“We have worked closely with the Hospital over the summer to identify suitable trainees to take part in this first year of the programme.

“I am very much looking forward to hearing about their experiences and I wish them the best of luck. Anyone with an interest in the area should consider applying for the programme next year.”