Celebrate learning! Health & Safety certificates for staff from Eddie Rockets.

SFW particiapnts from Eddie Rockets ( Balnchardstown)

Congratulations to this group of dedicated staff from Eddie Rockets in the Blanchardstown Centre. They have just successfully completed a Health and Safety Awareness programme at NFQ Level 3 delivered by the Blanchardstown Adult Education Service and funded by the Skills For Work programme. With the support and encouragement of their employer, they attended classes on Tuesday mornings before the diner opened for the day’s business. They are pictured here with their Fire Safety Awareness certs, which they got as part of their course.

The staff members got a good grounding in health and safety. Importantly they also got the confidence to make sure they and their colleagues were putting it into practice in the kitchen, serving and customer areas. In fact, such was the success of the course their employer has decided to engage with the Skills for Work programme once again for other groups of staff in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and Drogheda branches.


Skills for Work Wins Nationwide Star Award!

Skills for Work being presented with their  Nationwide Star Award

Skills for Work being presented with their Nationwide Star Award

Skills for Work (SFW) were delighted to accept the Nationwide Star Award at the AONTAS Star Awards Ceremony at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.   

Skills for Work is a national programme aimed at providing educational  training opportunities to help employees deal with the basic skills demands of the workplace. SFW is working with adults in employment who have achieved less than upper second level education or with outdated skills. A SFW programme includes a variety of subjects which supports the needs of employers and employees.

More than 300 people attend the presentation ceremony which was held in conjunction with the opening of AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival.  The Award Ceremony recognised the importance of adult learning projects in combating a range of issues such as upskilling in the workplace, disability, unemployment, and the isolation of older people.

For more information log on to www.skillsforwork.ie or email info@skillsforwork.ie


One Million On-line Registrations

Skills for Work and its delivery of the Farmers On –line Training Course to farmers were very encouraged by a report in the Irish Independent recently on the increase in farmers using the Departments on-line site to return their calf registrations. The support provided by SFW to farmers as part of their course which is delivered locally by the ETB has no doubt contributed greatly to “breaking the million barrier for the first time ever”.

The report (Darragh McCullough, 27th January 2015) noted that “paperwork in farming is rapidly becoming a thing of the past – not due to any red-tape, but because farmers are moving more and more of their Department interaction on-line”.

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said “The use of the electronic herd registration removes the requirement to maintain the ‘blue book’, which reduces paperwork, errors, and the risk of penalties arising at cross compliance inspections”.

For more information on the Skills for Work Farmers on–line Training Course contact; info@skillsforwork.ie


SFW Short listed for AONTAS Star Awards 2015!

Aontas star award 15Skills for Work has been short listed as one of the projects in the running to receive the 2015 Star Award.  39 projects have been selected by an independent STAR Awards Judging Panel. The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners’ Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning projects throughout Ireland.

The names of the winners will be announced at the STAR Awards ceremony on February 23rd in the Ballsbridge Hotel.


ALOA and Skills for Work!

SFW Regional Co-Ordinators Margaret Timoney (NW) & Mairtin O'Moran (W) at the ALOA Conference

The Adult Literacy Organiser Forum (ALOA) invited SFW to facilitate a workshop at their recent conference in Galway. The theme of the workshop was “Promoting Numeracy in the Workplace”.

SFW Regional Co-ordinators Margaret Timoney (North West SFW region) and Mairtin O’ Moran (West region) presentation covered topics such as the type of  maths required for the various employment sectors e.g.; agriculture, food & beverage, catering, retail and tourism.   

Information was also provided on how SFW promoted Mathematical Skills for Work to employers and employees, including the benefits of using an integrated subject approach to improving literacy and numeracy skills.


Upcoming Event! National Ploughing Championships September 2014.

23rd, 24th, 25th September 2014!


National Ploughing__

Plans are underway again for the National Ploughing Championships  to be held at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. 

Due to the success at last year’s event Skills for Work will be promoting a wide range of educational courses to the many thousands of visitors attending the event over the three days.  

You’ll find us at Stand 502!


Discovering Skills for Work (SFW) at the RDS!

The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show is one of Ireland’s biggest annual sporting and social events which attracts 100,000 visitors both domestic and foreign.  The 2014 show was also an ideal opportunity to attract a wide range of employment sectors to the Skills for Work promotional stand.

The SFW Regional Co-ordinators provided information and distributed literature on the extensive choice of educational opportunities available to companies under the SFW programme, and the Educational Training Board Adult Education Services.

 “There’s something for everyone at the 141st Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show” and this was very evident by the expression of interest shown by the many visitors to the show who approached the SFW stand enquiring about educational courses. 

Mr Mathew Dempsey President of the RDS, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Christy Burke, SFW Regional Co-ordinators Joan Devlin and Margaret Timiney

Mr Mathew Dempsey President of the RDS, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Christy Burke, SFW Regional Co-ordinators Joan Devlin and Margaret Timoney

Mr Mathew Dempsey President of the RDS and the Lord Mayor of  Dublin Mr Christ Burke opening the 141 Horse Show

Mr Mathew Dempsey President of the RDS and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Christy Burke opening the 141st Horse Show


Alphabund – German Interest in Skills for Work

Mr Tony Dalton (AEO) LO ETB, SFW Co-ordinators and German Study Visitors Dr. Nicole Lederle and Mandy Böttger at Laois/Offaly ETB

Mr Tony Dalton (AEO) LO ETB, SFW Co-ordinators and German Study Visitors Dr. Nicole Lederle and Mandy Böttger at Laois/Offaly ETB

In response to the findings of the LEO. – Level One Study the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (Standing Conference) initiated an Agreement for a joint National Strategy for Literacy and Adult Basic Skills in Germany in 2012.

To support this initiative Dr. Nicole Lederle and her colleague Mandy Böttger came to Ireland to draw on the experiences of a number of organisations involved in adult and literacy interventions including workplace educational programmes.  The study visit also included meeting with other key players such as NALA, DES, SOLAS, ETBs and the QQI.

Skills for Work hosted two sessions which provided information from both a rural and urban perspective with regards to promoting adult education opportunities within the community and the workplace.

Laois Offaly ETB was the venue for the morning session which included presentation from SFW Regional Co-ordinators; Lillian Buckley, (South West), Mary Hennessy, (Mid West), Marian O’Reilly, (Midlands), Mr Tony Dalton, (AEO,) LOETB, Longford Westmeath ETB Adult Literacy Service, and Brian Donnelly, (Community Education Officer), Tipperary ETB.

The afternoon session was hosted by City of Dublin ETB. Contributions to the information exchange focused on the benefits of SFW partnerships with employers and Trade Unions.  Representatives included Joanne Brown, (ICTU), Deborah Kearns (Swissport International), SFW Regional Co-ordinators; Patrice Hamilton, (DDLETB) and Margaret Timoney, (North West).

More information on Alphabund can be found on http://www.alphabund.de/


Success Story for SFW and Tipp Distribution

Tipp Distribution is a registered and licenced haulage company for both national and international distribution. It is located in O’Brien Street in Tipperary town and currently employs 14 permanent local staff and one part time staff member. The main business of the company is the distribution of soft drinks throughout the Munster region for a well know drinks manufacturer.  The company recently became a regional partner to Masterlink Logistics.

Tipp Distribution has an unusual history.  The current managers are former employees of Kiely’s Distribution which went out of business in 2011. When Kiely’s closed the employees had two choices; become unemployed or invest in it themselves to keep the company going.  Three former employees took on the challenging role of running and managing the company and so in June 2011 Tipp Distribution was founded. 

While the staff had great knowledge and experience of the distribution business, they realised that they needed to increase their computer literacy in order to maintain a competitive edge and compete for business in the marketplace.  The team at Tipp Distribution pride themselves on being loyal, flexible and adaptable in their skills and abilities.

Michael Toomey Senior, the Business Development, Distribution and Logistics Manager, saw a flyer for Skills for Work and contacted Tipperary ETB’s Adult Learning Scheme.  Soon after, a group from the company joined Skills for Work basic IT programme with the Adult Learning Centre in Tipperary Town. The course was a huge success and two further programmes were offered to the workers. Through the Skills for Work programme the workers acquired skills in emailing, Internet, Excel and Word Processing which gave them the confidence to advance the company’s business in the labour market.

Some of the SFW participants from Tipp Distribution

Some of the SFW participants from Tipp Distribution

These new skills proved a huge bonus with the workers when their company tendered successfully for a major distribution contract. One of the stipulations of the contract was that the workers were expected to be competent in using hand held computer devices when out and about on company business.  It is a tribute to the experience and commitment of the staff that the company is not only still going strong but is currently recruiting new staff to join the workforce.

Upskilling of the labour force is part of the National Skills Strategy and the story of Tipp Distribution demonstrates the benefits for workers availing of educational opportunities in their local area.  The OECD’s International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2012 highlighted the need across the OECD to upskill in the area of problem solving in technology rich environments.  Again, Skills for Work has had a very strong and positive role in supporting this initiative in Tipperary town.

We wish Tipp Distribution long and continued success in their business.


Celadon theme by the Themes Boutique