County Leitrim VEC hosted the Back to Education Initiative Graduation Ceremony in the Bush Hotel Carrick-on-Shannon recently. The presentations were made by the Chairman of County Leitrim VEC, Mr Damian Brennan who in his address made reference to the outstanding success of the programmes with the majority of participants progressing to employment.
In total 90 participants received certificates on the night in the areas of Healthcare, Childcare and General Learning with all of these courses funded under the Back to Education Initiative. There are currently over 300 students attending a variety of courses throughout the County.
The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time courses for over 16s, aimed principally at those who have not completed Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) qualification. It gives individuals the opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities. Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course, but priority will be given to those with less than upper second level education.
The first awards presented on the night were the certificates in FETAC Healthcare Support. This course is designed to prepare students to work competently, safely and effectively as a Healthcare Assistant in a variety of settings such as nursing homes, hospitals and home help support. This qualification is now a requirement for all employees in the area of Healthcare in Ireland and the majority of participants have secured employment in nursing homes throughout the county.
The next awards to be presented were FETAC Childcare level 5 & 6. The Level 5 award is designed to prepare you to work in a supervised role, competently, safely and effectively with children aged 0-6 years. The FETAC Certificate in Childcare Level 5 is a requirement for childcare staff under the Government’s Early Care and Childhood (ECCE) scheme introduced in April 2009. Level 6 Childcare is the next stage for a career in childcare, whether working in a day care nursery, crèche, pre-school/after school facility or with families as a professional nanny. All 22 individuals at FETAC Level 5 have secured employment, while 23 of the 25 participants on the FETAC Level 6 have also secured jobs.
Damian thanked the tutors Anne McGuinness, Childcare, Jackie Mitchell, Healthcare & Marie Lowe, General Learning. He also thanked Paul Hamilton, BTEI Co-ordinator, Fiona Neenan, FETAC Co-ordinator and Martin Fallon, CEO County Leitrim VEC.