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WCD without LTDCommunity Employment is broken into two strands.  

  1. General Community Employment
  2. Business Development Plan

General Community Employment

The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed and\or in receipt of a Social Welfare payment to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities. A large part of the ethos of CE is to partake is training to upskill in preparation for job seeking after CE. After the placement, participants are expected to seek permanent part-time and full-time jobs elsewhere based on the experience and new skills they have gained while on a CE scheme. The Community Employment Programme is administered by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). Participants can take up other part-time work during their placement.

The WCD CE scheme is based between Mullingar and Athlone and has 51 places, 18 of which are dedicated to the Business Development Programme (see under projects). The remaining places are based in a variety of roles including childcare, community development, reception and administration, either with WCD or with sub sponsor bodies.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements are: Applicants must be over 25 and in receipt of a Social Welfare payment for at least 12 months. All vacancies are advertised on Jobs Ireland and must be applied for through Intreo who will determine eligibility. All wage rates are determined by DSP.

For information on the WCD CE scheme please contact:
Geraldine Morrissey, CE Supervisor in our Athlone office on 090 64 16121 - email gmorrissey@westcd.ie or
Dan Grehan CE Supervisor in our Mullingar office on 044 9348571 - email dgrehan@westcd.ie

Business Development Programme

The Business Development Programme is a special Community Employment Scheme that has been running in Westmeath for many years. It enables unemployed people considering self-employment to undergo an accredited business development programme while developing their business idea and their business plan. The course is one of a number of supports that Westmeath Community Development has in place to support new businesses being established by people on the live register. Westmeath Community Development Ltd in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection run the Business Development Programme. The programme is run both in Mullingar and Athlone.

Programme Duration

The programme runs over a period of 24 weeks. Participants complete 19.5 hours per week with a combination of in-house training and research. The in-house training takes place at our training centres in Athlone or Mullingar every Monday from 9:30am until 4:30pm. The remaining time is allocated to research and development, and, one-to-one meetings with the programme manager.

Programme Features

  1. It provides a structured development programme to those who wish to start a new venture. The participant will be in a position to start trading after the end of the programme.
  2. Participants will receive skills in Financial Planning and Control, Market Research and all the other skills involved in bringing a project from the idea stage through to the commencement of trading.
  3. Practical research in the market place, tutorials and group projects will be reflected in a formal Business Plan prepared by the participant which can be used for obtaining finance for the new venture.
  4. The programme leads to a QQI Level 5 Qualification.
  5. All functional costs will be borne by DSP and WCDL and candidates will receive an allowance for the duration of the programme.

The Programme in the main is intended for:

  • C.E. Participants
  • Unemployed people
  • Single parent
  • Low income farmers
  • Various other target groups with an idea for a product or service.

If you are unsure as to whether you qualify please feel free to contact either of our  programme managers or the Department of Social Protection as listed below.

How to apply- Contact any of the following:

  • Dan Grehan WCD Mullingar- Phone: 044-9348571  Email: dgrehan@westcd.ie
  • DSP Employment Services Mullingar- Phone: 044- 9348805
  • DSP Employment Service Athlone-  Phone: 090-6473499

Job Initiative

The Job Initiative Scheme was a programme providing full-time employment for people 35 years of age or over who had been unemployed for 5 years or more. The Programmes existed and ceased in November 2004.

However, WCD Job Initiative scheme still has 11 remaining participants since 2004, working with a variety of sub sponsors in the Athlone area.  These areas include, Athlone Community Radio, Citizens Information, Marist College, St. Kierans Community Centre, People with Disabilities and Athlone Community Services.

The aim of the Job Initiative programme was and is to assist those remaining participants to prepare for work opportunities in the open labout market.  The programme continues to do this by providing those current participants with work experience and development opportunities.

For information on the WCD Job Initiative scheme please contact:
Yvonne Nugent or Edel McCallon in our Athlone office on 090 64 16121 or email ynugent@westcd.ie or emccallon@westcd.ie.


DEASP Logo Nov 2018

Supported by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
which is funded by the Irish Government


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