Posted 30.04.2021

Gerard commenced the Training for Success programme with South West College, Omagh, and received support from Disability Action’s Training Support Services team.  Gerard’s support was tailored to meet his needs and to empower him to follow his dreams.

Gerard initially addressed NVQ Level I Joinery and secured a training placement with McWilliams Joinery in Fintona.  With additional support also provided by South West College, Gerard progressed to Level II and his confidence increased.  Due to Gerard’s continual hard work, commitment, and perseverance and overcoming barriers and challenges his employer, McWilliams Joinery, offered him the opportunity of an Apprenticeship to do Level III Joinery where he is now employed.

Gerard’s mother said:

Mary Beth King, Employment & Training Officer at Disability Action, was a tremendous support to Gerard.  If he had any worries or issues with anything, she was at the end of the phone, visited him in College, on work placement and was the link to keep things on track.  During COVID she was a lifeline as he was very stressed and agitated, everything was done online.  I never let Gerard’s learning difficulty define him.  I pushed Gerard as much as the rest of my kids to be the best he could be at what he does.  Giving kids the right support and time ensures they can accomplish anything.  He was so proud of himself when he came home to tell me he was able to do what the rest of the lads were doing.

Gerard’s employers Lisa & Owen McWilliams of McWilliams Joinery are very proud of Gerard’s achievements:

As an employer, we wish to add that we are very proud of how well Gerard has progressed and of all his achievements over the past few years.  Gerard’s honesty, upbeat personality, eagerness to learn and overall work ethic is second to none.  We and all the joiners are very grateful for Gerard’s contribution on all our jobs.  Gerard is on the road to becoming a fine joiner and is well capable of achieving any goal he sets his mind to.  He is an asset to our company and we hope to have him for many years to come! Well done Gerard!


Read more on how our Training Support Services team can help you on your apprenticeship journey

If you want to find out more about taking on a disabled apprentice contact:

Lisa McVeigh, Training Support Services Manager (Temporary) Mobile: 07967 737470 E-mail: [email protected] or Anne Reid, Job Match Manager (Interim), Mobile: 07767 112291 E-mail: [email protected]