posted on June 5th, 2024

Celebrating Success! Over 200 NOW Group Participants Graduate

Participants from across Northern Ireland Graduate from NOW Group Training Academies

OVER 200 NOW Group participants from across Northern Ireland are celebrating this week after graduating from a range of training and employment academies.

Dedicated to supporting those with learning difficulties and autism into sustainable employment, this was the largest graduation ceremony in the NOW Group’s history with a total of 214 graduates receiving certificates for completing training in core industries including, warehousing, digital, retail, tourism, catering and hospitality and cyber security, to name but a few.  

Participants received their certificates on Tuesday (June 4th) during a special ceremony at Belfast City Hall, which was hosted by BBC’s Barra Best and attended by the High Sheriff of Belfast, Councillor Sammy Douglas, NOW Group Chair, John Gordon and NOW Group participants and their families.

Reflecting on the significance of the event, Maeve Monaghan, NOW Group CEO, expressed heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. “Our training academies are designed to equip participants with tangible skills, experience and qualifications, paving the way for their integration into the workforce and helping them to make meaningful contributions to their communities,” comments Maeve. 

“We are immensely proud of our graduates and remain committed to supporting more individuals with learning difficulties, autism and other neurodiverse conditions in their journey towards fulfilling careers.”

Maeve adds: “NOW Group is proactively partnering with businesses to address recruitment challenges and provide inclusive solutions for individuals facing employment barriers, and it is thanks to our current partners and organisations, across Ireland, whom we work closely with to run many of our academies and who are helping to lead the way in promoting accessibility, diversity and inclusion.”

In the past year, NOW Group has supported over 1,550 participants through its initiatives with 250 participants going on to gain paid employment. Along with the 12+ bespoke academies, the NOW Group offers soft skills programmes and in the past year, has run over 1,000 courses. 

In 2024, NOW Group is aiming to support a further 200 people with learning difficulties into employment through various academies that are currently operating in the hospitality, tourism, ICT, horticulture, and cyber security industries.

For more information on the NOW Group, visit the website:

Pictured at the NOW Group graduation is Broadcaster, Barra Best, with Maeve Monaghan, CEO At NOW Group and NOW Group participants, Harry Murray (left), Claudia Beatty and Matthew Gray (right).

Pictured at the NOW Group graduation is Maeve Monaghan, CEO At NOW Group with Broadcaster, Barra Best, and NOW Group participant, Claudia Beatty.

Pic credit: Kelvin Boyes

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