Nearly 50 certificates were formally handed over at Ennis Adult Education Centre to learners who took part in Clare Campus Skillnet courses.
The certificates were conferred by the Further Education & Training Awards Council of Ireland as a result of studies completed in the Ennis area in management development, presentation skills and English as a second language.
Clare Campus Skillnet collaborates with County Clare Vocational Education Committee in the delivery of a diverse range of courses from low basic skills to project management and green belt masters in technology management. Its courses are different in that they are devised as the result requirements identified by a network of businesses and enterprises that form a local network.
Clare Campus Skillnet is about 18 months in existence. In that time, it has delivered programmes to network members in Clare that, among other subjects, covered management development, health and safety, manual handling, project development and skills such as presentation programmes and stress management courses. Skillnet’s network of local businesses and enterprises defines its own training needs and sets out a programme of training and education activities.
The steering group leading this comprises Barry O’Brien and Kevin Moore, Vitalograph; Corey Downes, Billpost; David Deighan, Shannon Development; Michael Byrne, Acton BV; Allen Flynn, Old Ground Hotel; Carmel Mitchell, Loyalty Build and Richard Morton, Time to Market.
“Without this group, we would have been floundering without direction,” acknowledged Dr Seán Conlan, education officer with Clare VEC, who formally presented the certificates and highly complimented the recipients on their achievements.
He also thanked Clare Campus Skillnet co-ordinator Sinéad Mellett and the network’s administrator, Ina Reddan, without whom the programmes simply would not have happened.
Dr Conlan said that at this time of great challenge for all businesses, when unemployment has risen so dramatically, the learning agenda comes into more focus for everybody. The skills strategy documents that emerge to form national policy keep emphasising the need to learn, to train, to take part in education programmes and to retrain. The worker of the future would have a series of careers and learning was the secret of making a success of this challenging future.
Those receiving certificates on the occasion, he urged, should see the occasion not an end of the road but rather the beginning of a new learning route.
“Then, maybe together, we can learn our way out of this recession and be well prepared to take advantage of the upturn when it comes, as it surely will,” he added.
He also noted that at the last count there were 123 training networks in the Skillnets programme overall, showing it had come a long way since its inception in 1999 as a pilot project in enterprise-led training.
The success of the concept of businesses, small and large, identifying and delivering in a shared way on their own training needs had ensured that the Skillnet Training Networks Programme had become a key player in training and learning delivery in Ireland.