This is an extract from an article published in The Echo on Monday 1st April after WorkEqual’s inaugural Cork workshop with Primark.   Journalist Amy Campbell came along to the event and wrote about the experience.   The full article can be read here:  https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/arid-41365066.html

A GROUP of Cork women attended a confidence-building workshop in Penneys Patrick’s St store, a collaborative project between Penneys and WorkEqual.

Aoife Sheehy, Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor, explained at the collaboration: “Penneys is a place where you might find something to make yourself feel a bit more confident, whether it’s for a dinner party or the school run.

“Unlocking confidence is a big part of WorkEqual, and clothing is one element of that, so we are hoping that this partnership will bring their work nationwide success.

“The key thing about Penneys is that we have a store in most counties, and we’re really happy to be able to use our space for this.”

WorkEqual support people across Ireland to enter or re-enter the workplace and reach sustained economic independence, and CEO Su Duff explained at the workshop that they help “if someone is not sure where to start with looking for a job, or putting in applications but just keeps getting a no”.

“We work with organisations to help them to be more equal, and we run a series of workshops and one-to-one services on building confidence, understanding job descriptions, practicing for interviews and help people get suited into clothes that make them feel comfortable and confident. We help with building a CV that showcases all of your relevant experience – like skills that come from staying at home with your children for 10-15 years, and we do it all for free,” she explained.

WorkEqual apply for grants and are helped by volunteers, with HR professionals, coaches and stylists giving their services for free “because they’ve seen the difference this makes to people”.

Ms Duff shared stories of women they had helped, including a mum who had been out of the workforce for 15 years and didn’t know how to start looking for a job, and a lady from Kenya who had worked in a professional job there, but kept getting turned down for similar roles in Ireland.

Store manager Hazel O’Connor told The Echo that she was really excited to be partnering with WorkEqual, and very proud to be hosting the first event outside of Dublin.

“I manage 268 colleagues here in the store, and they come from so many different backgrounds so it’s incredible to use that experience to help people re-enter or enter the workplace for the first time,” she said. 

The full article can be read here:  https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/arid-41365066.html