Support programme for young people leaving school

WALK Peer programme
WALK - Inclusive Employment Services
Country of Implementation
Western Europe
Start Year
First published

WALK PEER is a five-year model. In the first two years, young people while they are still at school are guided and trained on topics such as employability, entrepreneurship and transition. Transition is the main topic for years three and four. In the final year, the focus is entirely on a good start of their professional life.

WALK provides a five-year programme towards full employment in a supermarket.

Solution details


Desmond HENRY
“WALK PEER gives the students opportunities and experiences in what they are interested in, and does so in a way we are not resourced to do.” Patricia Ward, Principal, St. Brigid’s Special School

WALK is an Irish association and a registered charity that provides personalized support for people with disabilities, enabling them to join the open labour market before they leave school at age 18.

Problems Targeted

Low expectations regarding their chances to join the open labour market often forces students with disabilities into separation and isolation in centres for people with disabilities.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

The WALK PEER programme is a five-year model in which the first two years are focused on students and pupils while they are still in school, during which time they receive guidance and training on employability and entrepreneurial skills, work sampling, career development, and transition planning. In years three and four, they are supported in ways that are directly relevant to their transition choices. In the final year, they are helped to sustain their career development and to get a good start in their new environment through vocational education and training, with most positions found in local businesses.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

Funding for the programme is €278,000 per year. The work of the programme is spread across a variety of government departments (Education and Skills, Social Protection, Jobs, Children and Youth Affairs, Justice and Equality, and Health), so there is some difficulty in getting consistent funding from all parties involved. WALK PEER intends to expand the programme throughout Ireland and has issued a “Guidelines” document, published in October 2016, to support their future steps.



WALK provides a five-year programme towards full employment in a supermarket.


Related information

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