Eilis Coyne (Front Left), Adult Guidance and Patricia Kelly, RTSC with (Back L-R) Vivienne Branigan, Laytown/Bettystown Youth Reach Coordinator, Claire O’Boyle, BTEI Coordinator, Catherine Ormsby, ESF Management Authorityand Marie Keys, DEASP at the EU day celebrations by Louth Meath ETB, Further Education and Training Information Fair held in Scotch Hall. Picture: Ken Finegan/Newspics.
EU day was celebrated by Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) on Thursday 9th May with Further Education and Training Information Fairs in Scotch Hall Shopping Centre, Drogheda, the Marshes, Dundalk and Navan Shopping Centre.
The European Social Fund (ESF) funds many of the courses provided, in addition to SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority and the Department of Education and Skills, so what better way to celebrate EU day than an appreciation of education.
The aim of the information fairs was to raise awareness of the multitude of full and part-time courses, organised by LMETB, which are available, free of charge, throughout Louth and Meath.
‘The range of options for adults wishing to return to education and training has grown significantly over the last few years’ according to Sadie Ward Mc Dermott, Director of Further Education and Training with LMETB. ‘Very often people are not aware of the wide range of courses and programmes, certified and uncertified, which are available in their local area. Whether you want to return to education, enhance your career options or re-enter the workplace, there is something to suit everyone. Flexible hours, full and part-time options, in addition to integrated work experience, make LMETB an ideal place to progress, both on a professional or personal level’.
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LMETB work hand in hand with external agencies to ensure the best support for its learners. Concerns for those returning to education can often include childcare, social welfare benefits and additional supports to facilitate a return to learning. With this in mind, these events were also supported by the DEASP, the County Childcare Committees and the Library Service.
The Meath Adult Guidance and Information Services (MAEGIS), in addition to the Louth Adult Guidance and Information Services (LAEGIS,) also provide a very valuable port of call to those who are interested in a return to education, but are unsure where to start. A wide range of guidance services are also available in the three PLC colleges in the region, DIFE, DCFE and O’ Fiaich Institute, and highly qualified guidance counsellors were also on hand to answer questions during the day.
“The level of support that is available is often not recognised”, according to Imelda Prunty, AEO.
“Drop-in services are available in our many centres in Navan, Drogheda and Dundalk, with staff only too happy to assist with the concerns of those wishing to return to learning. With wide ranging services including full-time and part-time options, there are many avenues to explore including PLC courses, VTOS, BTEI, Youthreach, Community Education, Adult Literacy Services, Apprenticeships and Traineeships, to name but a few.
“Skills to Advance is also an exciting new option for those in employment, who also wish to re-skill and up-skill. Full details of all further education and training options are available on www.lmetb.ie while a full listing of courses is also available on www.fetchcourses.ie. With a highly qualified and very experienced staff including teachers, tutors, guidance counsellors and coordinators, LMETB is the ideal first port of call should you wish to take that first step back into education.”
Open days and taster courses are another great way to experience education. The Adult Education Centre in King St., Drogheda will be hosting an open dayon 22nd and 23rd May, and all are welcome to come along to view the facilities and the courses on offer.
Taster courses, specifically in relation to VTOS programmes are also running on selected dates in May and June. If you are interested contact Angela Cahill at acahill@lmetb, Sinead Fearon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Reilly at email@example.com, to find out more about these courses in Navan, Dundalk and Drogheda, respectively.