AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


AHEAD are Hiring: Student and Graduate Engagement Officer

AHEAD, established in 1988, is a non-profit organisation working on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities. You can find more about what we do by watching this short video. You can also read AHEAD’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 where you will find our values and strategic themes in order to achieve its vision of shaping an inclusive future where students and learners with disabilities can succeed.

Job Details: AHEAD are hiring a Student and Graduate Engagement Officer and Get AHEAD Coordinator (known as the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer), reporting jointly to the Employment Manager and the Education Manager.

Duration: This position is offered on a permanent basis commencing as soon as possible and is subject to continued funding.

Location: Hybrid - Partly from home, partly in the AHEAD Office, currently in UCD Smurfit Business School, Blackrock - the majority of staff work in-office 1-2 days per week and from home 3-4 days per week.

Hours: The successful candidate will work full-time (8 hours per day including 1 hour for lunch) Monday to Friday with flexible start times on agreement between 08:00 and 10:00. Occasional weekend/evening work may be required for out of hours events.

Deadline for Application: 3pm, Friday 3rd Feb 2023 

Click here to download the full job description

Nature and Scope

The Student and Graduate Engagement Officer will coordinate the Get AHEAD project and supervise any staff working on this project and other AHEAD projects related to student and graduate engagement (currently 1 part-time staff member reporting to the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer). 

Get AHEAD works with students and graduates with disabilities, the higher education sector, and employers on the transition from third-level education to full time employment. This is done through upskilling all stakeholders by providing training events and valuable information covering a wide range of topics.

The Student and Graduate Engagement Officer must be interested in and willing to further develop an understanding of the key issues facing people with disabilities in accessing and engaging in all aspects of further and higher education and barriers to accessing employment.

The Student and Graduate Engagement Officer will be adaptable, motivated and have well established skills and experience in relationship building, project management, reporting and delivering on project work.

 Key Responsibilities 

The primary function of the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer is to engage with students with disabilities in further and higher education, and graduates with disabilities seeking employment in order to:

  • Upskill students and graduates with disabilities to boost employability skills and soft skills to support the transition from further/higher education to employment.
  • Create spaces where the graduate voice can be amplified, and support structures that ensure that the lived experiences of students and graduates with disabilities inform the work of AHEAD.
  • Deliver projects and work packages which support student unions and further/higher education staff to create inclusive social activities, extracurricular activities, study abroad and work placement.

Team and Project Management

  • Directly supervise any staff member assigned to work under the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer and on the GetAHEAD programme.
  • Liaise with the Employment/Education Manager to identify new areas of work, new projects and to agree yearly work plans.
  • Ensure all AHEAD’s Student and Graduate Engagement activities, projects and work plans are delivered effectively and on time, and liaise with the Employment Manager to ensure the GetAHEAD project adheres to the terms as set out within its Service Level Agreement.
  • Coordinate the GetAHEAD project (Employment Team)
  • Deliver other student and graduate engagement activities (Education Team)

Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with student support staff in further and higher education, and with key staff in AHEAD’s employer partners in order maximise effectiveness.
  • Ensure the reputation of AHEAD is upheld in all engagements with external stakeholders.
  • Represent AHEAD in a variety of external contexts, both at local and national level. Present the work of AHEAD at relevant conferences/events.
  • Support the (non-technical) development of AHEAD’s communications, events and social media output concerning student and graduate engagement.

Other Key Activities

  • Liaise with the Employment/Education Manager to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of programmes.
  • Participate and contribute to AHEAD staff meetings and weekly Education Team and occasional Employment Team meetings.
  • Complete/contribute to reports as requested by the Education/Employment Manager, including staff meeting, monthly activity, board and funding reports.
  • Collaborate with other disability organisations in presenting and disseminating information on the work of AHEAD.
  • Ensure the work of AHEAD is informed by the authentic experiences of people with disabilities.
  • Undertake other duties as may reasonably be assigned by
    the Education/Employment Manager or the CEO.

Click here to download the full job description in an accessible word file.  

 Person Specification

Required Experience & Skills

  • A minimum of three years’ experience in a similar role.
  • Demonstrable background in/understanding of issues concerning the engagement of people with disabilities in education and employment.
  • Experience in developing and managing relationships with students, graduates and other key stakeholders.
  • Ability to adapt writing styles for different contexts and target audiences e.g. board reporting, sector guidelines/guidance, funder reports and public event descriptions etc.
  • Ability to communicate messages effectively in a variety of contexts, e.g. at presenting at events, training staff and facilitating meetings.
  • Demonstrated experience of ICT skills including database management (excel), word processing and associated report formatting etc.

Desirable Experience & Skills

  • A third-level qualification in a relevant area.
  • Experience of working in the community and voluntary sector and/or in an area related to AHEAD’s work – inclusive practice, assistive technology, needs assessments etc.
  • Experience in management of large-scale events of 50+ people.
  • Understanding of how to produce accessible documents.

 Salary and Additional Benefits

The starting salary range for this position is €34,698 - €43,044 depending on prior experience.

AHEAD also offers the following benefits to employees;

  • Rewarding and flexible working environment
  • Comprehensive needs assessment for employees with disabilities
  • 25 days annual leave per annum
  • Company pension scheme after one year’s service
  • Access to EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) covering a range of services such as nutrition, fitness, legal, financial and wellbeing supports in addition to free mental health counselling and coaching.

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please send a tailored CV and cover letter in one single document to AHEAD’s Operations Manager Angela Glancy via email angela.glancy@ahead.ie with the subject line “Student and Graduate Engagement Officer Application” by 3pm Friday 3rd February. Queries about the role in advance can also be sent to this email address.

For shortlisted candidates, first round interviews will take place virtually the week of 13th February with second round interviews taking place the week commencing 27th February with a start date as soon as possible.

AHEAD is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from people from diverse backgrounds are welcome and AHEAD will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities where appropriate, as identified through its needs assessment process. Reasonable accommodations may also be provided for candidates with disabilities to participate in the interview process where appropriate.

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Video: How we help students & Graduates Succeed


Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182