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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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WAM Rules & FAQs

Rules & Frequently Asked Questions about WAM Placements

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about WAM Placements. If you have a question that is not listed here please contact us by emailing wam@ahead.ie.

Click the question to have the answer drop down.

I don’t have a disability. Can I still apply for a WAM Placement?

No. WAM Placements are only available to graduates with disabilities.

What types of disability are eligible to apply for a WAM Placement?

All disabilities which meet the criteria of the definition of disability as outlined in the Employment Equality Act (1998-2008) are eligible to apply. The definition is broadly defined and reads as follows:

Disability means:

  1. the total or partial absence of a person’s bodily or mental functions, including the absence of a part of a person’s body;
  2. the presence in the body of organisms causing, or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness;
  3. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body;
  4. a condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction; or
  5. a condition, disease or illness which affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour.

You can find out more about the Employment Equality Act here.

I don’t have a degree. Can I still apply for a placement?

The minimum educational qualification you have must be a recognised Level 6 on the National Qualification Framework.

However, each placement opportunity may have their own minimum education qualification which is determined by the individual employer which will be listed clearly on the information for each new placement opportunity.

Applications submitted which do not meet the minimum education qualification of the placement opportunity will be deemed ineligible.

I’m in final year. Can I apply for a placement?

This is decided by the employer before recruitment begins. It will be clearly marked on the information if applications will be accepted from final year students however generally students must be available for full time work.

If you are still a student, you can still register on our WAMworks database by inputting your expected graduation date. Please click here to register.

How long can I participate on a WAM placement for?

Each placement opportunity typically is a minimum of 6 months; however, there may be placements which have a duration of a shorter or longer time. This will be determined by each employer and the duration of the placement will be clearly advertised when the placement opportunity arises.

The total cumulative time of a WAM placement cannot exceed 12 months however this may be reviewed to 18 months.

I’ve already been on a WAM Placement. Can I apply again?

Yes. Participants may avail of a maximum of 2 WAM placement opportunities however the total cumulative time of placement(s) cannot exceed 18 months.

This means that if you completed 1 WAM placement which lasted a duration of 18 months, you cannot apply for a second WAM placement.

I’ve applied before but I was unsuccessful in getting a placement. Can I apply for a WAM Placement again?

Yes. There is no limit on the amount of times graduates can apply for positions if they have been unsuccessful in previous applications.

If you have already been placed with a company through the AHEAD WAM Programme, you can only apply again provided you have not yet met the maximum cumulative time of placement which is 18 months.

How do I apply for a WAM Placement?

The first step to applying for a WAM Placement is to register with us via our WAMworks page. Please click here to register.

I’m in receipt of an Illness / Disability payment, can I apply?

Yes. AHEAD has secured an agreement with Department of Social Protection in relation to the payment of Illness/Disability Payments. Your payment may be reduced or suspended for the duration of the WAM placement.

Please read here for more information.

Will I get paid?

Yes. All WAM placements are paid placements which are paid directly from the employer to you. The wages are determined by the employer not WAM.

If you are on Disability Allowance or any Illness Benefits, your social welfare payments may be reduced or suspended for the duration of the WAM placement. Please read here for more information.

How many hours do I have to work?

All WAM placements are full time which are based on a standard working week which will range from 30 - 40 hours per week however; this will be determined by the employer.

How do I apply for a WAM Placement?

The first step to applying for a WAM Placement is to register with us via our WAMworks page. Please click here to register.

What types of placements will be on offer?

Placements may be offered across a wide range of sectors both in the private and public sector.

Do I have to disclose my disability, if I get a WAM Placement?

All candidates who are offered a placement must complete a WAM Needs Assessment before taking up their placement. The WAM Needs Assessment is conducted by a member of the WAM Team and will look at what reasonable accommodations, if any, the candidate will require in order to undertake the role they have been offered.

Candidates will be asked to disclose their disability for the purpose of the needs assessment, but this information will not be made available to the employer without the candidates consent.

How will I be selected?

WAM advertises opportunities available through the programme to those who are registered on WAMworks, our website and across other networks. Information about the roles available as well as instructions on how to apply will be listed in the current opportunities section of our website. Interested graduates then submit applications and these are processed by the WAM Team.

Although WAM advertises the roles that are available, each employer receives all completed applications and applies their own recruitment and selection processes to the candidates. After interviews have been conducted, a candidate is chosen by the employer for the role available.

Please Note: WAM is a mainstream competitive process and there is no guarantee of an interview or a placement with the WAM Programme.

Who will look after me when I am on my placement?

When on placement, you will be assigned a manager who will be responsible for carrying out induction training and giving tasks and duties for you to complete. You will also be assigned a mentor who works in the company and is there to support you during your placement by helping you settle into the workplace and talk to you about further career opportunities.

WAM will also be checking in with you, your manager and mentor from time to time to see if supports are being put in place and also to see how things are getting on.

 What employers work with the AHEAD WAM Programme?

To date, graduates have been placed with the following companies:

Abbott Ireland, Arthur Cox, Bank of Ireland, Bord Gais Energy, CG Power Systems, Citi, The Civil Service, Covidien, Deloitte, Dell, ESB, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, FÁS, HSE, IBM, Irish Life & Permanent, The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Microsoft Ireland, O2, Savills.

Will I get a full time job from my WAM placement?

There is no guarantee of a full time job from any WAM Placement. However, some graduates have gone on to secure contracts in the company where they were placed.

Please Note: Due to current economic circumstances, graduates placed in the Civil Service will not be offered any contract when their placement ends.

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