Follow the link below and meet the SfW Co-ordinators as they share the many benefits of engaging with the Skills for Work Programme and on winning the AONTAS Nationwide Star Award 2015.
As you are aware the Skills for Work course ran for 7 mornings over a three and a half week period in the Post Primary School here in the Curragh.
The feedback from the students was very positive as many of the skills covered would have been very new to them. The level of instruction was very good and Angela’s interaction with the students was excellent. They felt very much at ease and became informal which they felt helped them. I visited the course and got a pleasant feeling from the group.
The environment and resources of the Post Primary School were perfect and much appreciated by us. Access to the internet allowed them search work related material and to conduct personal interest inventories which they found very useful.
All felt that they had their generic CV ready after the course which they now know needs to be modified for each job advertised.
The Adult Guidance Counselor gave them an appraisal of what is out there if they wish to plan for civilian life and return to education. Again this they felt was very beneficial as the group due to their age, may not have considered further education as a realistic option. Overall the students were delighted with the course.
I wish to thank you and Angela for meeting with me initially and accommodating us with the Skills for Work programme. I would hope that I could conduct another course here in the Curragh later in the year. Word has gotten around about the course and there is already queries about future courses. We could perhaps meet again in Sept / Oct to discuss this or other course options.
Personnel Support Services Officer in the Curragh Camp
At the recent Kildare County Show, SFW Co-ordinators Deidre Gallagher and Marian O’Reilly were delight to meet Anna May McHugh who took time out of her busy schedule to discuss the SFW Programme and it’s delivery of workplace courses to employees across Ireland.
Anna May McHugh is the Managing Director/ Secretary of the National Ploughing Association (NPA) , a role which has made it possible for Ireland to be represented in the World Ploughing Championships and taking the lead in hosting the 2016 World Ploughing Championships which were held in Carlow.
The SFW Co-ordinators are looking forward to meeting up with the NPA Managing Director as the next championships due to be held in September.
In 2013 Anna May won the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award.
Testimonial received by Defence Force on behalf of the participants on completing their SFW Course
Here is some positive feedback in relation to the Skills for Work course that took place in Lucan. The course was over 3 1/2 days spread out over two weeks which allowed time to reflect on the completed work. The instructors [tutors] where contagiously enthusiastic and it was evident all instructor [tutors] had researched the subject knowledge and also had a very extensive insight into our organisation. The resources and facilities that were available to us was unexpected, every member had a PC with Internet access, two lecture rooms at our disposal, hard copies in the form of handouts and soft copies in the form of a USB key. The course content was as follows.
- Introduction and layout of the course.
- CV preparation.
- Cover letter preparation.
- Social media networking & job searching.
- Interview skills.
- Mock interview with positive criticism.
- Educational benefits and reflection.
The introduction and the layout of the course was a detailed description of the workload to be completed, and a safety brief. CV preparation was most beneficial as it covered the correct layout of a CV, what an employer is looking for and the changeover of military jargon to civilian terminology.
Due to the fact there were small numbers on the course. The tutor had time to help and guide every student in the creation of their CV .Every evening CV’s where handed in for critiquing and handed back the next day so the students were continuously improving and this set the tone for the course. On the completion of this course every member had the very comprehensive CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interview experience, interview techniques and the ability to job search confidently. This would allow people to start looking for employment immediately. In the students opinion this course was extremely practical in nature with a hands-on approach by the instructors,
SFW would like to welcome Deirdre Gallagher to our team of dedicated regional co-ordinators. Deirdre will be based in Kildare & Wicklow ETB with responsibility for promoting the SFW Programme across the South East Region which covers Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny.
“A wonderful enlightening Skills for Work day trip” was how the participants expressed their experience after their visit to the Sun Life Help-desk facility in Waterford City. The trip was organised by Wexford & Waterford ETB for the SFW participants as part of the thematic workplace education courses delivered by the AES and SFW in the South West region. Integrating workplace trips such as this offers opportunities to SFW participants to enhance their learning and appreciation of the benefits of upskilling and reinforces their belief, that with the right training anything is possible.
The talk was presented by John Weldon (Director Sun Life Help-desk Waterford)”
A celebration lunch was held in DDLETB to celebrate the SFW winning the AONTAS Nationwide Star Award, which was opened by Marian Lynch, National Adult Literacy and Community Education Co-ordinator and Paddy Lavelle, CEO, Dublin and Dun Laoighaire ETB. Those attending the event included representatives from a range of employment sectors, ETBs, trade unions and state agencies.
Key speakers on the day were Niall Bulger of Án Post who had completed the programme and spoke enthusiastically of his experience, explaining how the training had not only enhanced his skills and confidence but had given him the motivation to pursue further learning opportunities.
Paul Cummings, Training and Development manager of Án Post spoke highly of the value of the programme to employers emphasising the importance of lifelong learning for a skilled and confident workforce. The programme has also reached out to learners in rural areas, many of them farmers who now need digital skills to do much of their business.
Eddie Downey, President of the Irish farmers Association acknowledged the importance of the programme for upskilling people working in the farming sector and re-iterating the Association’s support for the work.
Berni Brady Director of AONTAS also emphasised the importance of recognising the many benefits of the Skills for Work programme and how it demonstrated best practice in adult learning.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you [Patrice Hamilton] for all your assistance in facilitating the Skills for Work programme which was undertaken by our Healthcare Assistants, Central Mental Hospital. On carrying out a Training Needs Analysis we identified a number of key areas where training was required for this new cohort of staff. However we were struggling with the format for delivering this training so your initial phone call was most timely. Our subsequent meetings allowed us to clarify how we might go about sourcing this training and your interviews with the staff was a great help in tailoring training according to staff individual needs. I believe that this process was much more effective when carried out by someone like yourself who is unconnected to our service in the CMH as it removed the employee / employer dynamic from the situation. In addition your professional background was ideal for carrying out this initial important piece of work.
I also appreciate the understanding you showed when we came to discuss the methodology of delivering the actual programmes, balancing the HCAs needs with the service needs of the NFMHS. Initial feedback from the participants on both courses is that where they may have had some apprehension, especially those staff who had been out of formal education for many years, both you as the overall facilitator and the tutors on the two courses have engaged the participants in the learning process in a very positive, supportive manner. Hopefully this will encourage some of them to consider further personal development options in the future.
Again thank you for the work done so far and I look forward to exploring with you how our HCA staff might progress their training in the future.
Assistant Director of Nursing
Three Skills for Work course are being delivered to Kerry Foods employees in Charleville, Co. Cork. All the employees are based in the Cheese Section and work three shift rosters, day, evening and night shifts. Due to the nature of their shift patterns and their enthusiasm in engaging with Skills for Work, both the company and workers were very happy to embrace the option of attending their course during the weekend.
The Kerry Foods employee courses takes place at the Mannix College, Charleville for three hours each Saturday.
(Pharmaceutical Supplies Manufacturer)
Just a note to thank you for all your help in co-ordinating the upskilling programme at MSD Swords. It was a great success and didn’t have a single blip in the execution. This is a credit to your personal organization and to the professionalism of the instructors who integrated wonderfully with our organization. I especially appreciate your assistance in lining everyone especially as it was the summer period, everyone was empowered to deliver on the agreed contract.
Several of the participants commented to me personally on the quality of the instruction and the positive learning environment the instructors created. These same colleagues confessed their fear/awkwardness with technology and their relief to finally participate in an upskilling programme. 27 colleagues attended the programme, in 4 different classrooms, across 4 days. The instructors did a wonderful job, using the assessment tool to rebalance the classes on day one and then dynamically adjusting the learning plan to address the variety of needs and interests in the groups.
Given the vital role IT has in our business, we are delighted with the return on the time investment we have made in this upskilling programme. The participants themselves not only feel better about using IT at work, but also are more confident about using IT at home e.g. “the PC at home that I never use”. This was a unique opportunity for us as a company. Your flexibility in delivering this programme helped us achieve something we would struggle to deliver in more conventional schedule over a period of weeks/months.
Please extend my gratitude to the instructors and to your own support team who worked with us to make this happen. I hope we might be able to collaborate again in the future on another programme.
With best regards