Hire our Students

What Is the EmployAbility Programme?

The Access UCC EmployAbility Team delivers a Career Mentoring & Summer Internship programme in conjunction with partner employers. Our partners include a number of employers, including large multinational companies in the pharmaceutical, technology, finance and other sectors, primarily in the Cork area.

The EmployAbility Programme has two primary aims:

  • To equip students with a disability to progress from third-level education to the workplace
  • To empower employers and managers to create disability-inclusive workplaces

This is an exclusive opportunity for Disability Support registered students at UCC.

Why Engage With the EmployAbility Programme?

  • The EmployAbility team creates opportunities for Disability Support registered students at UCC to develop the skills that will empower them to successfully progress from education to the workplace. 
  • The EmployAbility Team provides support to participating employers and recruited student throughout the programme.
  • Training will be provided to employers around the recruitment, selection, and onboarding processes.
  • Employers and students will be supported around the topic of disability disclosure, with a focus on any accommodations that might be required in the workplace. 
  • Actively increase diversity in your workplace and tap into a diverse talent pool. 
  • Learn more about the value of hiring persons with a disability through our programme.
  • Broaden your recruiting relationships with University College Cork. 

Why Advance Diversity and Inclusion at Your Company?

  • 13.5% of persons in Ireland have a disability* which is a significant percentage of the population, and of any company’s customer base.

  • There is a strong business case for hiring a qualified person with a disability.

  • Research shows that people with disabilities can contribute to a company's overall competitiveness through benefits such as higher levels of innovation, diversity of thought, lower absenteeism rates, increased productivity, greater market share & shareholder value, and lower job turnover rates.

  • In Ireland, only 31% of working-age people with a disability are employed, with many of these being underemployed**

  • Excluding people with disabilities can harm the economic performance of an organisation, and ultimately place a business at risk for losing customers to its competitors.

  • It’s advantageous to develop a good understanding of disability and providing the relevant supports in the workplace, as 70% of people with a disability aged 20-64 acquired their disability after the age of 16***

  • Our research indicates that students with a disability are not transitioning as successfully from third-level education to employment as the general student population.

* Census of Population (CSO, 2016)

** Employment Transitions among People with Disabilities in Ireland (Watson, D. et al., 2017)

*** Acquired Disabilities (Employers for Change, 2022)

How Can My Company or Organisation Get Involved?

We welcome participation from a range of organisation types across a variety of sectors and industries. We are particularly keen to explore employer partnerships that will increase opportunities for students in a variety of areas such as the, Business, Finance, Arts & Humanities, Marketing, Education, IT, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Charity/not-for-profit, Healthcare, Engineering & Manufacturing, Public Sector, Legal, and STEM.  If your company or organisation is not currently working with us, and you’d like to have a chat about becoming a participating employer, please complete our Expression of Interest form for employers.    

If you have any queries, please contact accessemployability@ucc.ie and we will get back to you. We would be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss how we can collaborate to create employability opportunities for Disability Support registered students  

How Do I Hire a Graduate?

The EmployAbility Programme is primarily undertaken by current students. However, if you have a graduate opportunity that you would like to promote outside of the EmployAbility programme, please contact accessemployability@ucc.ie and we will get back to you. We would be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss how we can support you with your recruitment.  

How Can I Contact the Employability Programme?

Please contact accessemployability@ucc.ie with your query and we will get back to you within 1-2 working days during regular daytime office hours.

If you’d like to have a chat about becoming a participating employer, please complete our Expression of Interest form for employers.


Where Can Students Get More Information?

Our website has a section dedicated to students, including programme information and testimonials. 

Hear From Our Past Participants

Hear from some of the past programme participants as they talk about their experience with the EmployAbility Programme.

It was an opportunity to help students along the way in something that I'm very passionate about personally.

Natasha (Mentor)

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The internship really was the catalyst for me being happy in the role I am now in.

Ryan (Graduate)

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I had an amazing mentor that took me under her wing.

Lauren Mai (Graduate)

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Access UCC

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