The Ability programme is a new pre-activation programme for young people with disabilities (aged 15 - 29) designed to assist participants in their transition from school to further education and employment. This will be undertaken using person-centred, case management approaches that support participants to identify and follow progression pathways based on both their needs and their potential. The programme will be delivered by national, regional or local organisations from around the country that have experience of working with people with a disability.
The programme will be funded under the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) operational programme, 2014-2020 (PEIL, 2014 – 20) and the Irish Exchequer.
The programme is being managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department. Pobal’s call for applications for funding closed at the end of January. There has been a significant level of interest in the Ability programme, with 59 applications received.
Pobal have recently completed their appraisals of all 59 applications received against the selection criteria for the programme, as published on Pobal’s website - www.pobal.ie.
Their recommendations are currently being considered by my Department and it is envisaged that the successful applicants will be notified by the end of May.
I hope that clarifies the matter for the Deputy.