November Lunchtime Talk

Monday 17th of October

November Lunchtime Talk- An Evaluation of the Focus Ireland PETE Programme, Dublin – A Pivot to Online Service Provision in 2021

Date: Wednesday 16th of November

Time: 1pm

Meeting Registration – Zoom

Focus Ireland runs a flexible education programme in Dublin designed to meet the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. The programme, PETE (Preparation for Education, Training and Employment) was developed to address gaps in training, education, and employment pathways from homelessness into independent living. In doing so, it provides several supports to assist people in their first step on their training, education or employment pathway as well as supporting those who are returning to education or work.

This evaluation reviewed the effectiveness of the PETE programme in Dublin in supporting marginalised groups in obtaining employment, or training/ education goals with a particular focus during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-2021) and a pivot to online service provision. This evaluation covers a wide range of issues, such as labour market exclusion, digital exclusion, the impact of Covid on the PETE programme in Dublin and the experiences of PETE staff and customers and how the pivot to online supports was negotiated.


Kathyan Kelly, Independent Research Consultant

Kathyan has a background in health, mental health and communication spanning more than 35 years.  She holds a MSc in Applied Social Research and a BSc in Psychology. She has worked on a number of projects as an independent research consultant, and has a specific interest in social inclusion, working predominantly with hard-to-reach populations.

Her research work has focussed on the experiences of people with mental health issues, substance and alcohol use disorder, intellectual disability as well as children in at-risk families and people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.  She has presented papers at a number of international conferences and is a guest lecturer for the MSc in Addiction Recovery in TCD.

Bríd O’Brien, Head of Policy and Media, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)

Bríd O’Brien is the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)’s Head of Policy and Media, which includes formulating and developing INOU policy on unemployment, social protection and the development of an inclusive and equitable labour market. She is a member of the INOU’s Senior Management Team; acts as the media spokesperson; and has represented the INOU in a range of structures dealing with activation, labour market, education and training policy and delivery. On behalf of the INOU Bríd works with colleagues in the Community and Voluntary Sector on issues of social and economic inclusion and justice, equality and human rights. Since 2007 Bríd has been one of the Community and Voluntary Pillar representatives on the National Economic and Social Council.