AHEAD & the Transition from College to the Workplace

Written by the AHEAD WAM Team


Employer Event - Strategies & Resources for Recruitment & Testing of Graduates with a Disability – Are you sure your testing is accessible?

77 attendees registered for this event which was run in conjunction with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The focus of this training event was on the assessment component of recruitment and the barriers posed by this process for many disabled applicants. Many companies use testing (in all its formats) as a component of the recruitment process and many more are moving towards using it.

Event Title: Disability….Testing…..Recruitment

Attendees at Disability, Testing, Recruitment event

The event featured 5 panel members; Dr. Conor McGuckin; a psychologist and expert in psychometric testing, Leslee O’Loughlin; HR manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Haaris Sheikh; CEO of Interesource Group Ltd, Louis Watters; WAM Graduate and Katie Ridge; barrister at law. A question and answer session was facilitated by Carol Hunt and guest speakers included Alan Chapman (Department of Social Protection representative) and George O’Connor (Managing Director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car).

Get AHEAD is a network of graduates with disabilities which aims to improve the work preparation and employment opportunities for graduates with disabilities.

Participants at the Disability, Testing, Recruitment event

GET AHEAD works to up-skill graduates with disability in preparing for work and enhancing their ability to negotiate these barriers through the recruitment and selection process, to secure full employment. It does this in an innovative way:

  • Provides customised training workshops to graduates and students with disabilities
  • Creates space for graduates to share their experiences and engage with employers, and forges partnerships with employers.

Students Get Ready for Work!


Get AHEAD hosted a ‘Get Ready for Work’ workshop, which was run in conjunction with the WAM Programme for graduates who had applied for a WAM placement. The workshops focused on preparing the graduates for interview by supporting them in recognising their skills and how best to demonstrate them during interview. The interview preparation workshop featured a HR guest speaker from our network of employers.

Interview Preparation Training Workshop

Michael Smurfit Business School, UCD, Blackrock, Dublin 4

In parallel with the WAM Programme’s recruitment for work placements with ESB, IBM and Dell Ireland, Get AHEAD ran an interview preparation workshop for those candidates who had applied for the companies outlined above. Leslee O’Loughlin, HR Manager from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, was our featured guest speaker who spoke about the employers’ perspective. 15 candidates registered to attend the workshop with 11 candidates present.

Extremely informative, I learned a lot of new things.

Source: Comment from participating graduate

Evaluations & Feedback

After the workshop, an evaluation was sent to those who attended the workshops to find out which aspects they liked the most and what would they like Get AHEAD to do in the future. From these evaluations; it’s clear that there is a demand for running these type of workshops, in particular outside of Dublin.

In the workshop, there were participants who had travelled from Galway, Limerick, Wexford and other counties. In addition, we received numerous requests to run more workshops for those who were unable to attend.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182