Walkways - Pathways to Employment, Supporting People into Part and Full Time Employment

Creating pathways to employment

Walkways - Creating Opportunities for Employment


Social Enterprise

PEER - ‘Providing Equal Employment Routes’

For a young person with an intellectual disability the expectations and opportunities to take the first steps into paid employment are significantly lower than for those who are non-disabled. Consequently, young people with an intellectual disability fall behind their non-disabled peers in this vital area of life development. Without the awareness, expectation and opportunity of work, people with an intellectual disability often miss out on normal life transitions.

The PEER Programme is aimed at supporting young people in education to take their first steps into part time paid employment. “PEER” is designed to give students with an intellectual disability, between 16 and 24 years old, the same opportunities to take their first steps into part time paid work as their peers.

While participating in the PEER programme, students are supported to learn the skills associated with successfully keeping a job. The students will grow in self-confidence and have greater expectations, awareness and prospects for future employment.

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REAL - Reaching Employment Ambitions in Life

Rule 7 of the UN Standard Rules

“States should recognize the principle that persons with disabilities must be empowered to exercise their human rights, particularly in the field of employment. In both rural and urban areas they must have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labour market.”

While a rate of unemployment in the order of 56% exists for people with disabilities, the rate is in excess of 85% for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour. Walkways recognises that there is a very real gap in services for this group of people to avail of employment opportunities. The “REAL” programme is designed to support adults who have an intellectual disability and wish to experience paid employment.

Benefits Include:

  • Professional Job Coaching, that will advance career development. 
  • Earning money, to allow for more independence. 
  • Personal growth, increased confidence and self esteem. 
  • Increasing network of contacts and friends.
  • Increasing skills development and decision making. 
  • Ongoing support and follow up care whilst maintaining relationships and providing necessary training and support for the employer.

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Social Enterprise

A Social Enterprise is an organisation that applies capitalistic strategies to achieving philanthropic goals. The activities of the enterprise cater for a social need in the community, create training and work experience opportunities for people while being self sustaining.

Walk aims use the Walkways project to create and sustain a social enterprise that fulfils a social need within our community while creating employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

Social Firm

Social Firm” is the British term for a work integration social enterprise, a business created to employ people who have a disability or are otherwise disadvantaged in the labour market. Its commercial and production activities are undertaken in the context of a social mission, with profits going back into the company to further its goals.

A significant number of the employees of social firms will be people with a disability or disadvantage, including psychiatric disabilities. All workers are paid a market-rate wage or salary that is appropriate to the work. All employees are intended to have the same employment opportunities, rights and obligations.

Agoriad Cyf has extensive experience in developing social enterprise and through the Walkways project aims to develop a social firm.

Some benefits of creating social enterprises and social firms include:

  • Becoming a self-sustainable enterprising organisation, by engaging in trading activity to generate income, and achieve social purpose. 
  • Job Creation for participants to gain skills and confidence and enhance future employment prospects. 
  • Developing and strengthening the social and economic fabric of our communities.

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Programmes offered by WalkWaysProgrammes

Customised programmes to support people into employment; PEER, REAL & Social Enterprise.

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