Casting a wide net with Jobcare


A stoical attitude is a must in today’s jobs market. Employment figures are low, wages are falling, and the uttering of bleak catchphrases like ‘the Forgotten Generation’ are routine, enforcing a sense that what’s bad can only get worse.

Where people on welfare have taken advantage of training and qualification courses, or school-leavers have been afforded the opportunity to go on to university, both groups find themselves presented with unpromising prospects at the end of their learning.

Within that context, in 2011, Peter Johnson launched the Jobnet programme, an initiative aimed at graduates and professionals who are finding it a challenge to secure work. Peter is the Training Manager for the Jobcare organisation.

Based at 28a Pearse Street, Jobcare was founded in 1994 by Paul Mooney, with the intent of developing the employment prospects of underprivileged or under-resourced inner city areas. The ethos of the organisation is that work is ennobling and promotes well-being and self-respect, or in tagline form: Working Matters.

Jobcare make no secret of the fact that they are a faith-based organisation and that the work of the organisation is an extension of a Christian ethic. They are also, emphatically, an Equal Opportunities employer.

The organisation also runs a Jobclub, incorporating an Employment Preparation Course (EPC) which is a FETAC-accredited job-hunting programme, and also runs Trasna, a FÁS-funded work programme for ex-offenders, aimed at providing them with the tools to prevent re-offending by entering the workforce on a solid footing.

The learning has a dual focus. As well as work-shopping practicalities – interview technique, developing and maintaining a social media profile, optimising a CV – participants (‘clients’) are coached in motivation, self-belief and ambition. “We teach a mix of hard and soft skills, so people can find the work which is right for them as individuals.”

The Jobnet programme has netted Peter a place on the shortlist for this year’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year award. “Our location is superb. We’re very central. Also, we get referrals from Social Welfare offices, from people who drop in or are led here by word of mouth. And we have a recruiter who will visit libraries and employment exchanges. The other incentives we offer people are strong ties with local business.”

Certain features of the course utilise these strong ties, for instance the mock interview, which is comparable to a final exam. “A client chooses a job and tailors a CV to target that job. We send it to a company in the area who provide a mock interview and give feedback on the client’s performance. This could be an interview for a job the company does not really provide but it provides a more objective assessment than working solely with our team.”

In summation, Peter adds, “The secret is finding creative ways to introduce clients to recruiters, companies and business persons.”
Jobcare is sited at 28a Pearse Street and online at

Pictured, left to right: Peter Johnson, Paul Mooney and Niamh Curtis.

By Ruairi Conneely