WISE Annual Conference 2019

The WISE (Women’s Integration, Skills & Employment) project is a FREE programme open to women of all ages in Co. Donegal, who have the potential and desire to play a more active role in the labour force.

It is for women who are unemployed and not in DIRECT receipt of a jobseeker’s payment. Women who are not on any social welfare payment or are receiving a social welfare payment other than a jobseeker’s payment are eligible.

WISE provides the following services; CV building, cover letter & interview skills, job brokering, access to employment and educational opportunities, self-employment guidance and support, confidence and motivational building and development opportunities and six months in-employment support. With funding available for short-term accredited courses. WISE employment advisors travel across Donegal to meet ladies in a public place of their choice.

There are three employment advisors; Penny Brennan in North Donegal, Grainne Boyle in East/South Donegal and Michelle Gallagher in West Donegal. In the last two years, they have supported over 340 ladies in Donegal with 150 completing courses and mock interviews and almost 90 ladies moving into their dream career in Donegal with the support and guidance from their dedicated employment advisors.

Each year, they hold an annual WISE conference which took place in the Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny on Thursday the 28th of February 2019. Mary Maguire from the Donegal Women’s Centre was the MC with an ice breaker from Denise from Positive Parties who provided positive inspiration through laughter yoga, gratitude and dancing with the group of attendants.

Key speakers from an employer’s, education and self-employment perspective attended to discuss the various options available in Donegal. Many of the WISE business partners and clients attended on the day with stands from Donegal Women’s Centre, Local employers, the Education Training Board, Social Prescribing and self-employed client’s in mindfulness and reflexology.

A WISE lady and past client, Yvonne Uí Bhaoighill spoke highly of her experience with WISE. Yvonne had taken 15 years out of employment to raise her children and had little confidence but felt at ease with her employment advisor who focused on her job goals, guided her through preparing a CV, cover letter and a mock interview. With enhanced confidence, Yvonne was prepared and successfully moved back into employment with a public service position locally.

Dolores Mc Geady from the Donegal Education Training Board spoke about the further education and training services for adult’s education across Donegal. Brenda Hegarty from the Local Enterprise Office discussed self-employment guidance, support and funding available including business networks and women in Business. Deirdre Mc Glone, owner and manager of the famous Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal Town discussed her journey and women in the workplace from an employer’s perspective. A raffle concluded the event where top spot prizes were donated from companies across Donegal.

Ladies from the WISE programme enjoying their positivity building session at the WISE Conference in the Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny

The WISE team at their annual conference. Grainne Boyle, Eamonn Moore (Manager), Penny Brennan and Michelle Gallagher

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