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OWL programme

The Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) programme is an applied learning, development and socialisation programme for young adults with an intellectual disability. The Houses of the Oireachtas Service is facilitating the OWL programme in collaboration with KARE, WALK, City of Dublin Education and Training Board and supported by the Public Appointments Service and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

OWL trainees get a real and applied learning experience in a work setting. Each year, the Houses of the Oireachtas Service, along with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, provide the workplace settings for the ten OWL trainees.

OWL graduates have developed skills that allow them to be work ready. The OWL Graduate Programme aims to find meaningful and viable employment for our graduates in the wider Civil and Public Service. We offer help and support to other Civil and public sector offices that wish to provide part-time permanent employment opportunities for OWL graduates.

Toolkit for public sector organisations

Do you work in a Government Department or other public sector organisation? Would you like to know how your workplace can take part in the OWL programme? Find out more with these useful guides.

Front cover of OWL brochure

First OWL graduation

The first OWL participants graduated in September 2019. The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, presented the graduates with their certificates at a ceremony in Leinster House.

We in turn also learned from them. They each brought their own skills and experience and added greatly to the work that is done here every day.
Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD

Guide for people who would like to become OWL trainees

When does the next OWL programme begin?
Who can apply?
How do I apply to become an OWL trainee?
How are people selected?
How long is the programme and what are the hours?
Will I get paid while I am an OWL trainee?
Will being an OWL trainee affect my social welfare payments?
What type of work might I be doing?
Who will support me when I am a trainee on the programme?
What is expected of OWL trainees during their placements?
Will I get a job after I graduate from the OWL programme?
If I am not eligible for the OWL programme are there other options for me?

Guide for potential employers of OWL graduates

What is the OWL programme?
How does my organisation get involved in the OWL programme?
What are the benefits to becoming a placement site?
How long would I have to stay involved in the programme?
What is supported employment?
What is reasonable accommodation?
Who will support my department/team throughout the programme?

Contact details

To discuss how your workplace can take part

OWL team

To apply to participate in the OWL programme

Dublin area Vicki Hogan

Kildare area Peter Furlong