Armagh Planetarium and Observatory has employed two local men as part of its team since August 2021, through the new JobStart Scheme.
Dylan Smith and Shea Agnew have been offered roles, to gain valuable work experience opportunities and training, both becoming employees on short term contracts.
JobStart is a new scheme run by the Department for Communities, to help young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment, aged 16 to 24 years, get into the job market by gaining job opportunities. The aim is that the employees will gain skills and experience to help assist when finding their next job and a chance to progress into further education or training opportunities.
Dylan is working with the team as a Social Media Assistant, creating content for the Planetarium’s social media channels and he will be employed for six months. Shea is a Grounds Assistant supporting the team to keep the extensive grounds and garden areas tidy and welcoming. He will be employed for nine months. Shea receives additional support in his job through Disability Action NI’s Workable (NI) programme, a beneficial resource that has enabled him to get the most out of his job.
Lisa O’Neill, Corporate Policy & HR Officer from Armagh Observatory & Planetarium said: “We are so pleased to have Dylan and Shea on the team. It’s the first time we have been able to facilitate JobStart roles and we were able to create them based on the needs of assistance we needed here. The guys bring two different skill sets to the team and we are really enjoying having them here. They have fitted in really well and we have seen the benefits the jobs have had for them personally and professionally. It’s been brilliant to collaborate with Disability Action NI too, who provide such an important role to assist Shea.”
Sinead Kerton from Disability Action NI said: “Disability Action is delighted to be working with Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and Shea as part of our Workable NI Programme. Workable NI tailors support towards the individual and their needs and provides advice on reasonable adjustments.”