An award-winning programme for jobseekers, held in Limerick for the first time earlier this year, has given renewed confidence to professionals seeking work. Now, because of its success, organisers have announced it will run again this autumn.
University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School (KBS) and Human Resources Division have spearheaded the charity programme Jobnet, a six-week programme that addresses the needs of unemployed graduates and professionals. Since 2010, more than 1,000 people have taken part in the Jobnet programme nationally, with a 60% success rate. This year, 29 people in Limerick participated in the programme.
The programme empowers jobseekers to market their skills and learn to effectively network to find employment, focusing on personal branding, networking, goal setting and job seeking in a digital age.
Key themes in the programme are confidence building, reinvention, up-skilling, network building, targeted job searches and seeking out local opportunities.
According to Jobnet Limerick Organiser Dr Christine Cross of KBS, “During the recession, many professionals found themselves out of work, a lot of them for the first time in their lives. Not only did this affect them financially, but it also took a toll on their confidence. Now as the region’s economy begins to show signs of recovery, this programme provides more than just information to professional looking for jobs, it enables them to gain the support and encouragement of a network of people and gives them the confidence needed to get back into the workforce”.
Jobnet Limerick Participant Ger Kennedy said: “The Limerick Jobnet programme was very beneficial and I gained a lot of useful information and guidance that I will put into practice going forward. The calibre of the speakers at the weekly sessions delivered inspiring and thought provoking talks on topics such as recruitment and networking.
“Both the organisers and facilitators created a professional environment for participants to explore and plan our careers.”
Also participating was Michael Collins, who said: “The Jobnet facilitators, the organizers and the guest speakers were all extremely generous with their time and after speaking with them I always received fantastic advice and encouragement. Two facilitators from Ulster Bank took the time out of their very busy schedule to mock interview me the day before my final interview for a position at another bank. This fortunate situation occurred because I was encouraged to network and use the resources that were made available at the first Jobnet session, and of course because the facilitators were willing to go above and beyond their call of duty,” he continued.
“I would recommend this program to any professional that finds themselves looking for employment and maybe needing a bit of encouragement, advice or direction with their job hunt,” Mr Collins added.
According to Monica Mullins of SME Banking, Ulster Bank: “Since Ulster Bank was founded 190 years ago, we've always aimed to support the communities we are part of, and make a real and meaningful contribution to our society. Investment in community has always been a hallmark of Ulster Bank's ethos and culture, historically this was typically sponsorship and has evolved now to personal involvement in local communities. We were delighted to be part of the Jobnet Programme here in Limerick as it gave us the opportunity to give something back to our own region. Community Involvement is a key focus for us as a bank and it was a privilege to be part of the first Jobnet initiative here in Limerick and to be given the opportunity to add long term value to our community”.