AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


AHEAD are Hiring: WAM Project Officer

AHEAD, established in 1988, is a non-profit organisation working on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities. You can find more about what we do by watching this short video. You can also read AHEAD’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 where you will find our values and strategic themes in order to achieve its vision of shaping an inclusive future where students and learners with disabilities can succeed.

Job Details: AHEAD are hiring a WAM Project Officer reporting to the Employment Manager.

Duration: This position is offered on a permanent basis commencing as soon as possible and is subject to continued funding.

Location: Hybrid - Partly from home, partly in the AHEAD Office, currently in UCD Smurfit Business School, Blackrock - the majority of staff work in-office 1-2 days per week and from home 3-4 days per week. 

Hours: The successful candidate will work full-time (8 hours per day including 1 hour for lunch) Monday to Friday with flexible start times on agreement between 08:00 and 10:00. Occasional weekend/evening work may be required for out of hours events.

Deadline for Application: 3pm, Friday 3rd Feb 2023 

Click here to download the full job description

About The WAM Programme

The WAM (Willing, Able and Mentoring) Programme works with employers to change attitudes towards graduates with disability and to create inclusive environments that build disability confidence it the workplace. This is done through encouraging employers to create internships for graduates with disabilities and facilitating the placement of those graduates. For more on WAM, click here.

Nature and Scope

The WAM Project Officer will work alongside a team of Project Officers reporting directly to the Employment Manager. The WAM Project Officer will work with and support employers in the recruitment for WAM Placements, build systems to manage disability in the workplace and to assess the support and workplace accommodation needs of gradates with disabilities starting on internship programmes. The WAM Project Officer will participate in a diverse range of activities alongside engaging with stakeholders including organising and managing employer training events both on and offline and promote inclusive workplace practices.

 Key Responsibilities 

Organisation, Training and Reporting

  • To plan, set up and carry out workplace needs assessments of graduates with disabilities starting on work placements and internships with employers.
  • Deliver and facilitate training with employers on a range of topics which include mentoring, pre-placement, inclusive recruitment and disability awareness.
  • Maintain good and accurate records in relation to all aspects of work. 
  • Develop, plan and organise events for employers and/or graduates as necessary.
  • Analyse, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the programme on a continuous basis.
  • Contribute to reporting systems both internally and externally to employers and to the funders of the programme.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

  • Build and maintain key relationships with employers working ensuring the visibility and reputation of The WAM Programme is upheld.
  • Maintain close communications with students and graduates with disabilities applying and participating in The WAM Programme.
  • Work in collaboration with employers to identify key work place tasks and resolve issues and come up with solutions where appropriate.
  • Represent WAM and AHEAD in a variety of external contexts, and at relevant conferences/events.
  • Contribute to the development of WAM communications, events and social media output. 

Other Key Activities

  • Keep abreast of relevant changes to new technologies and practices concerning employment and the inclusion of people with disabilities/
  • Undertake disability-proofing of workplace tasks, accessibility and recruitment processes.
  • Participate in weekly team meetings, produce written reports on the work of WAM for the Employment Manager, the CEO and AHEAD Board on request.
  • Undertake other duties as may reasonably be assigned from time to time by the Employment Manager
  • Work on other projects and events in AHEAD as required.

 Person Specification 

Working Style

  • A ‘team player’ ethic and willingness to help with day to day activities and work to support the WAM team and other AHEAD staff during busy periods.
  • An honest and reliable individual with a willingness to admit mistakes and point out system flaws to the WAM Team.
  • A self-directed individual who can work on their own initiative, identify areas of improvement and actively work to achieve improvements.

Required Experience & Skills

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience working in an administrative or similar role.
  • Demonstrable organisational skills such as maintaining accurate records, event management, preparing evaluations and report writing.
  • Ability to communicate messages effectively in a variety of contexts, e.g. presenting at events, training employer staff and facilitating meetings.
  • Demonstrated experience of ICT skills including database management (excel), word processing, and associated report formatting etc.
  • Knowledge of issues concerning disability and the workplace and other equality issues.

Desirable Experience & Skills

  • A third-level qualification in a relevant area.
  • Knowledge of content management systems (e.g. Mailchimp, Wordpress and eLearning platforms etc.)
  • Understanding of how to produce accessible documents/events.

 Salary and Additional Benefits

The salary range for this position is €31,698 to €34,531 commensurate with AHEAD’s pay scale and experience.

AHEAD also offers the following benefits to employees;

  • Rewarding and flexible working environment
  • Comprehensive needs assessment for employees with disabilities
  • 25 days annual leave per annum
  • Company pension scheme after one year’s service
  • Access to EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) covering a range of services such as nutrition, fitness, legal, financial and wellbeing supports in addition to free mental health counselling and coaching.

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please send a tailored CV and cover letter in one document to AHEAD’s Operations Manager, Angela Glancy via email angela.glancy@ahead.ie with the subject line as “WAM Project Officer Application” by 3pm, Friday 3rd Feb 2023.  Queries about the role in advance can also be sent to this email address.

For shortlisted candidates, first round interviews will take place virtually the week of 20th Feb with second round interviews provisionally scheduled for the week of 27th Feb with a start date as soon as possible.

AHEAD is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from people from diverse backgrounds are welcome and AHEAD will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities where appropriate, as identified through our needs assessment process.

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Video: How we help students & Graduates Succeed


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