FÁS has responsibility for providing labour market services and supports for people with disabilities. It administers the Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant for people with disabilities who require access or access to assistive technology in the workplace. Additional services and grant supports available through FÁS include:
A national network of consortia operate the Supported Employment Programme on behalf of FÁS which aims to support the employment of people with disabilities by providing a supported employment network. A Job Coach conducts a detailed analysis of the job openings a participating company may have and then matches the needs of the company with the skills and interests of a jobseeker. In the event of a successful match, the Job Coach facilitates the integration of the new employee into the working environment and provides ongoing advice and support with the intention of this leading to independence and career progression. This is a free service to both people with disabilities and private sector employers. In order to participate in this programme, the person must be Job Ready. Job Ready is defined as 'A person who has the necessary training, education, motivation and ability to persue work/career in the open labour market'.
For more information, see Supported Employment Programme
The Wage Subsidy Scheme is operated by FÁS. It offers financial support to employers who employ people with disabilities whose productivity levels are between 50% and 80%. The person is paid the normal rate of pay for the job and a Wage Subsidy Scheme grant is paid to the employer to cover the shortfall in productivity.
A person on the Wage Subsidy Scheme is subject to the same conditions of employment as other employees. These include PRSI contributions, annual leave, tax deductions and minimum wage requirements. This Scheme is for private sector companies only.
For more information, see Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Employee Retention Grant Scheme aims to support employers in the retention of employees who acquire an illness, condition or impairment which impacts on their ability to carry out their job and, in that context, to explore their continuing capacity to operate as productive members of the workforce. The scheme consists of two stages:
Stage 1 Facilitates employers to buy in external specialist skills and knowledge needed to develop an individualised Retention Strategy for the employee who has acquired a disability. Funding of 90% of eligible programme costs is available to companies up to a maximum of €2,500 towards the development of a Retention Strategy for any one employee.
Stage 2 Provides funding to the employer towards the implementation of the written Retention Strategy, including retraining, job coaching and/or hiring of an external coordinator to oversee and manage its implementation. Funding of 90% of eligible programme costs is available to companies up to a maximum of €12,500 towards the implementation of a Retention Strategy for any one employee. Funding for the specialist personnel is limited to a set number of hours and application may not be made without the support of an individualised Retention Strategy.
For more information, see Employee Retention Grant Scheme
A person with a hearing or speech impairment can apply for funding to have an interpreter present at job interviews. Interpreters can be family members or friends, or a professional interpreting service is available through the Irish Sign Language Interpreting Service. There is no limit to the number of interviews a job seeker can attend with an interpreter. FÁS will normally pay a fee for a three-hour period and travel costs are also paid at a set rate by FÁS. The Job Interview Interpreter Grant is available to job seekers applying to both public and private sector companies.
For more information, see Job Interview Interpreter Grant
A person who is blind or visually impaired may require assistance with job-related reading. A grant is available to fund the employment of a personal reader. The grant is allow the employment of a personal reader on an hourly, part-time or ad hoc basis, up to a maximum of 640 hours per year.
For more information, see Personal Reader Grant
The Disability Awareness Training Support Scheme is available to all companies in the private sector and aims to promote the employment of people with disabilities by raising awareness and understanding amongst staff. It is intended to assist in the integration of people with disabilities into the workplace and addresses the concerns and misconceptions that employers and employees may have about working with disabled people. Funding for this training is available from FÁS to companies at a level of 90% of costs in the first year and 80% of costs in subsequent years. FÁS provide a list of Disability Awareness Trainers who have registered with FÁS in association with this scheme. The maximum funding available to a company is €20,000 in any one calendar year.
For more information, see Disability Awareness Training
Operated by FÁS, Jobs Ireland is an online electronic labour market service where anyone can search for job vacancies, employment programmes or details on training courses provided by FÁS. Similarly, employers can advertise vacancies and look for candidates or training courses for their employees. For more information, visit jobbank.fas.ie
Vocational training courses are designed to equip participants with specific skills, such as woodwork or office skills, which will enhance their prospects of securing employment. FÁS provides a large range of training courses with different levels of support. Anyone wishing to access vocational training should contact their local FÁS Employment Services office or Local Employment Service (LES) office.
Community Training Centres