CDETB Employability Skills Programme

Sinead Drew

Established in 2009, The CDETB Employability Skills Programme is an 18-month programme, providing Introductory Vocational Skills Training within the CRC, to assist learners to achieve a QQI Level 3 Major Award in Employability Skills, a nationally recognised qualification. 

Learners with special educational needs are offered high quality accessible education and training, with a clear emphasis placed on progression and personal development. The Employability Skills Programme can be the ideal stepping stone for those students who have just finished school, but are not quite ready yet for employment or further education in a mainstream setting. 

Our mission 

Our mission on the Employability Skills Programme is to work in partnership with our learners to develop their confidence and support them in achieving the skills they need to progress onto employment or further education. 

Modules include:

  • Application of Number
  • Communications
  • Career Preparation
  • Work Experience
  • Health & Fitness
  • Computer Literacy
  • Health & Safety Awareness
  • Retail Sales Transaction
  • Planting and Potting by Hand
  • Drawing
  • Breakfast Cookery

What we provide:

  • A high standard of teaching
  • A designated key trainer for each learner, to support learners throughout their training
  • Support with securing work experience placements, through which  learners will gain confidence and improve their work related skills
  • A wide range of extracurricular activities, including art, relaxation classes and sporting activities
  • Field trips, student committees, advocacy support
  • Additional support for any learner who requires extra help with their studies
  • Individual Progression Plan to support moving on to employment or further education
  • A friendly, welcoming and supportive training environment based in Raheny

Course requirements: 

Applicants must have either a physical or mild intellectual disability and have reached the current statutory school leaving age

Functional literacy and numeracy skills

Motivated to learn and have an interest in gaining employment 

Ability to travel independently or the willingness to engage in travel training

How to Apply

  1. Contact the Programme Co-ordinator, Elaine Pope, by phone on +353 087 717 2628 or by email at to express your interest in the programme. 
  2. An introductory meeting will be arranged, where you will learn about the programme and have a tour of the training centre. The Programme Co-ordinator will also give you an Application Form to complete. 
  3. On receipt of the completed application form, a two day sampling will be arranged, where you can attend the training programme for two days and attend all of the classes and activities. There is a short assessment at the end of the sampling days to assess basic literacy and numeracy skills, along with an informal interview.
  4. You will be contacted in writing shortly after your sampling to be advised if you have successfully secured a place on the programme. 
  5. Places offered are subject to the learner successfully completing a 3-month Probationary Period. The purpose of the probation period is to allow time for you and the trainers to assess how you are settling into the course and also to look at your conduct and attendance.  This period also gives both you and the Training Team the opportunity to look at whether the programme is the right one for you at this time.
  6. Should you successfully complete the three month probation period, you will then carry on to complete the remaining 15 months of the programme. 


I have always loved working with my hands and being outdoors. It’s no surprise then that my favourite module, when I was a student on the CDETB Employability Skills Programme, was called “Planting & Potting by Hand”. I asked my work experience trainer about getting work experience placement in either a gardening centre or some sort of landscaping. My trainer got an amazing placement in Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park for six weeks. I really loved working there and, thanks to the team, I got to learn loads of new skills whilst working in a supportive team. The walled gardens and the Clock Tower in Farmleigh are just beautiful and well worth a visit if you are ever in the park. 

During my end of course progression meeting, I was encouraged to apply for the First Steps programme through my local Intreo office. I never heard of this program before but the guys explained everything to me and told me that this was a brand new type of internship. The program is designed for young people aged between 18 and 24 and is basically like a youth development internship. The CDETB team supported me with the registration and interview steps and thankfully I was successful in getting a gardening internship with the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). It’s great working here in NCBI. Every day there are lots of different jobs for me to do, so it is all very exciting. I am hoping that in the future I will be offered an employment contract in NCBI.

 - Ciaran Shiels 


My name is Dean Coleman. I left the CDETB Employability Skills Programme in Raheny in 2021. I loved the college, it was the best thing to go to. It was close to my home, and I got the dart out and the dart home every day. I loved the football in CDETB, and I was captain for the team and we did a tournament with the FAI. I really loved the course and all the friends I made there aswell. My goals were to get a job and to do my literacy. My trainers got me work experience, and I done well and I got a job. Now I am working in Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. I live in Ringsend and I have always been fascinated with boats. I love going to work every day, helping the lads, cleaning rubbish out of the water and going out on the Liffey on the speedboat. When I finished the course, my key trainer helped me get started aswell on a part-time course to help me keep working on my literacy. I’m so happy that the course helped me with my goals.

- Dean Coleman