DSS Employability Programme

DSS Employability Programme Summer Internship

  • The UCC Disability Support Service ( is eager to further develop the Summer Internship Programme for students with
    disabilities in the next academic year 2019 2020 Many students registered with the Disability Support Service in the college
    have identified a difficulty in accessing meaningful work experience as a major barrier in their career development and with this
    in mind the following project is being proposed
  • All employers are welcome and encouraged to engage in the programme by making a summer internship available to a student
    with a disability Some may be experienced in hiring placement students and graduates, others may not, but what is most
    important is the availability of meaningful work experience for students



Placements should be 3 months in duration and will be undertaken over the summer months UCC has recently been

semesterised which means that UCC students are typically available from mid May to late August each year



These placements should be paid work opportunities The rate of pay for the Intern is at the discretion of the employer It is
recommended that the rate of pay reflect the typical rate that is paid to a co op placement student



Support will also be provided to employers as the need arises The Careers Advisor for Students with Disabilities in the Disability
Support Service will be a direct point of contact for all employers and interns for the duration of the programme

Disability Awareness Training will also be given to any staff who commit to working as mentors as part of this initiative

Should support be required in undertaking a Needs Assessment for the successful candidate then this support can be provided
by the resident Occupational Therapist in the UCC Disability Support Service



It is proposed that a Mentoring Programme be run in conjunction with, and to support the work experience/internship
programme When a student is placed with an employer they will be assigned a mentor for the duration of the internship The
mentor will be an existing employee and will act as a point of contact and support for the intern The mentoring system can be
relatively informal Many organisations already have existing mentoring programmes for new recruits though if there is not a
mentoring programme in place the DSS can provide advice on implementing a programme for the internship It is also envisaged
that there will be a more formal review of the intern at the end of the placement



All participating employers will be asked to attend an information event on UCC campus to collectively meet with students
interested in applying to the programme Here employers can give a brief presentation on the company and on the opportunity
(or opportunities) they have available for the Work Experience/Internship Programme This will also allow interested students
to speak directly with employers It is envisaged that the information event should take place in late October

Following on from the information event, the application process will then begin with all applications to be submitted by the
beginning of December 2018 and shortlisting would then take place

Interviews could then be scheduled for January and February 2019 with offers to be made shortly thereafter This would allow
for the interview process to be undertaken at a convenient time for both employer and candidates and there is a real value to
both parties in having the recruitment process complete well before the summer



Benefits to the employer There are enormous benefits for employers who engage in the programme, not least the fact that
they will become more experienced and aware of the values in employing a person with a disability They will also become more
aware of the contribution and the different perspectives that an employee with a disability can offer The opportunity to
increase diversity in the workplace also has added value as it enhances the social context of an employer

Benefits to the student The student will undoubtedly benefit from getting relevant and meaningful professional work
experience Such experience has been identified as the most important criterion when graduate employers are shortlisting
candidates (Source AHECS Graduate Recruitment Survey 2013 and this is also the kind of experience that students with a
disability report that they have difficulty in finding A summer internship would allow them to develop their professional
workplace skills as well as significantly developing their confidence

Going forward As this is a pilot project it is envisaged that the summer internship programme will grow and develop in the
years to come

For more information on becoming involved involved in this programme please contact Shay Nolan who is the Careers Advisor for
Students with Disabilities


First Floor, The Hub, Main Campus, UCC, T12 YF78