Closing time on valuable service to the unemployed at local Jobs Club

The Drogheda Job Club recently closed its office having fulfilled a necessary need to the townspeople for a long number of years. There were bittersweet scenes as it permanently closed its doors on Wednesday August 31st, shortly followed by a farewell meal at the Trinity Quarter in Trinity Street.

he Jobs Club was first registered with the Company Registration Office from December 2006, and it based itself in an office in Mayoralty Street. It was initially set-up from a request by FÁS (Foras Áiseanna Saothair) and latterly DSP (Department of Social Protection) to the Drogheda Council of Trade Unions, whereby, a voluntary board of management, under chairperson, Donchada McRaighnaill, was delegated to launch the center to offer assistance and support to jobseekers.

From small beginnings and under the direction of its first Board of Management and Job Club Leader, Sean Kierans, it quickly gained momentum and established itself as one of the best Job Clubs nationally with a high-quality standard of service of inclusiveness to all who came through their doors. Its main aim was to give free practical advice and engage with jobseekers through a combination of preparation and assistance with a current and relevant Curriculum Vitae, support and encouragement with techniques for interviews and motivational training workshops with a strong emphasis on building confidence to explore job vacancies . It also evolved from traditional methods of applying for jobs to current trend technology systems of zoom interviews, online applications and social media platforms. The ultimate goal was to assist the jobseeker into gainful and sustainable employment and assess opportunities for training programs to enhance upskilling to enable their advancement to strengthen their progression of personal career plans.

18 months ago, the government issued a new directive which has resulted in the cessation of Job Club activities throughout the country. A new Employment Service for the regions throughout the country has replaced the operational procedures of Job Clubs and will now be known as the ‘Intreo Partner Employment Services’. It is expected to upgrade the process for jobseekers to avail of this service for which they will need to be in receipt of a Social Welfare payment and make contact with an Intreo Employment Case Officers for referral to the service.

“Whilst it came as a shock to myself and the Board of Management, when the closure was announced, we have managed to negotiate a successful outcome and we are pleased that our staff have been accommodated. The Louth Meath Partnership have taken over the franchise and a very smooth transition has taken place. I would like to thank our secretary, Seamie Briscoe, for his efforts and input into seeking a satisfactory resolution and of course, the Board of Management,” says outgoing and last chairperson of the Drogheda Job Club, Phil Conyngham. “Our excellent staff, Aidan McDonnell, Ciara Duffin and Patricia McHugh and all our former staff, of the Drogheda Job Club for all their wonderful assistance to everyone who sought our help and visited the center over the years. I also would like to take this opportunity of wishing all our past clients and colleagues the very best of luck with all their future endeavours”.

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