Ability Programme:


Ability is co-financed by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

The Ability Programme provides funding to local, regional and national projects in the Republic of Ireland that focus on bringing young people with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 29 closer to the labour market.

The programme targets young people who are not currently work ready using a range of person-centred supports. This type of work assists young people to identify and follow progression routes based on both their potential and their needs. As a result, the programme promotes positive pathways into education, training and employment for participants.

Ability has an overall budget of up to €16m from 2018 to 2021, is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), and administered by Pobal.

The objectives of Ability are to:

  • Assist young people with disabilities to develop the confidence and independence required to participate in education, training, employment.
  • Support young people with disabilities who are not in education, employment or training to access and participate in education, training, and employment.
  • Build the capacity of mainstream employment services, education and training providers to support the progression of young people with disabilities.
  • Build the capacity of employers to recruit and retain young people with disabilities within their workforce.

The Ability Programme promotes employment prospects and meaningful social roles for young people with disabilities.

Employability relates to the general skills a person needs to enter, stay and progress in the world of work. The term ‘employability’ recognises the importance of an individual’s skills, competencies and experience when they are looking for work.

A meaningful social role refers to any employment or volunteer role that supports a young person to realise their potential. A meaningful social role will facilitate a young person with a disability to contribute to economic life or to their community to the extent of their ability.

Ability funded projects can access all relevant guidance material on the Ability portal.

The current Ability Programme is funded to the 1st July 2021. The Ability Programme is not open for further applications.

Further details on the Ability Programme can be found on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website.

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