Institute of Technology Carlow wins AHECS Employability Award for collaborative project for students with Autism


Institute of Technology Carlow win AHECS Employability award for collaborative project for students with AutismInstitute of Technology Carlow has received an Employability Award as a result of the work carried out by them in collaboration with Specialisterne Ireland. The AHECS Employability Award recognises the very best in employability initiatives implemented by AHECS member careers services throughout the year. The Awards ceremony took place in the Mansion House in Dublin on the 25th of April, with IT Carlow Careers Service receiving the ‘2019 AHECS Employability Award - Highly Commended Small/Medium Service’.

Submission for the award was based on the Pilot collaboration between IT Carlow and Specialisterne Ireland to support students on the ASD spectrum who were experiencing barriers in securing work placement, a compulsory element of their chosen course. 

Judy Murphy Careers Advisor, IT Carlow commented on the achievement “I was delighted to receive the AHECS Award at the Grad Ireland Recruitment Awards 2019. It was inspiring working with our students who gave 100% in developing their employability skills as part of the WorkAbility Programme. Our partnership with Specialisterne and collaboration with IT Carlow’s Computing & Networking Department is an exciting and valuable collaboration, which resulted in a very successful pilot.”

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Nigel Whyte, Head of Computing & Networking Department at Institute of Technology Carlow said “this initiative has made a great difference to the employability skills of our students who engaged with the programme.  It is the first of its kind and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”

Institute of Technology Carlow has become the first third-level college in Ireland to partner with Specialisterne Ireland, an independent specialist recruitment and support company, to boost career opportunities for students with autism.  Specialisterne Ireland has worked with many of Ireland’s leading businesses since its establishment in 2013, including: SAP, ESB, Deloitte, Janssen, Accenture and Bank of Ireland. 

David Denieffe, Institute of Technology Carlow Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar was “particularly pleased that this award coincides with World Autism Month”, and believes that “the pilot programme with Specialisterne Ireland demonstrates the Institute’s continued commitment to supporting learners and to our ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion.”