Preparing for employment: A new initiative for young adults with disability in Northern Ireland

Brian Taylor, Sinead McGilloway, Michael Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Young people with disabilities are often excluded from the labour market. This paper describes a qualitative evaluation of an innovative two-year pilot initiative (VOTE) implemented to provide employment training and support for vulnerable young adults with a wide range of disabilities. Aims: The principal aims of the study were to assess the impact of the new service in the extent to which: (1) it had created and developed training and employment opportunities for young people; and (2) promoted inclusive working partnerships. Method: Documentary analysis was used as a basis for describing and assessing the project objectives in combination with face-to-face interviews with a small number of key stakeholders. Results: A total of 122 young people participated in the initiative in the pilot period during which time 160 qualifications were obtained. Key stakeholders expressed positive views about the initiative and, in particular, its therapeutic benefits and the extent of inter-agency working and shared learning. Conclusion: The VOTE initiative achieved considerable success in empowering a significant proportion of young adults to engage in society by developing social and employment skills, and by improving their employment opportunities and prospects. Factors critical to the continued success of this and similar initiatives include: the matching of employment and training opportunities to client needs, abilities and aspirations; addressing the concerns of local employers; and the sympathetic treatment of workplace issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Feb 2004


  • Disability, employment, young people, VOTE.


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