Archive for February, 2017


*PRESS RELEASE* Clare Initiative Shortlisted for Prestigious AONTAS STAR Awards

A Clare-based adult education initiative has shortlisted for the prestigious AONTAS STAR Awards 2017, organised by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation. The awards are part of its annual Adult Learners’ Festival and recognise outstanding work in adult education.

East Clare Learning in Action, based in Scariff, Co. Clare, offers a diverse range of courses which equip learners with skills required for the different stages of life in a rural community, including Family Learning, Skills for Work and Age Friendly Education. The initiative has been shortlisted in the ‘Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Social Inclusion’ category.

The AONTAS STAR Awards – now in its 11th year – is a national awards initiative that celebrates the achievements of adult learners and adult education programmes throughout the island of Ireland.  AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, announced the shortlisted projects ahead of the annual Adult Learners’ Festival which takes place from 6th – 10th March 2017. The winners will be announced at The STAR Awards Ceremony in Dublin, which is the opening event of the Festival.

Commenting on the shortlisting of the awards, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “The STAR Awards are an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the positive impact adult and community education projects have on the lives of learners and their communities around Ireland. We’re delighted that this fantastic Clare project has been shortlisted for a STAR Award for the vital role it plays in the social, cultural and economic development of its local area.”

The judging process comprises two stages. In the first stage, nominated projects are shortlisted by an independent judging panel, whose membership is drawn from the education, business and technology sectors. The second stage gives staff and learners from the shortlisted projects the opportunity to meet with the judging panel before they make their final decision.

The Adult Learners’ Festival

The Adult Learners’ Festival is a nationwide celebration of adult learning coordinated by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation. The 11th Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from the 6th – 10th March 2017. Over the past decade, the Festival has become a firm fixture on the adult learning calendar with events taking place nationwide, including information sessions, taster workshops, sample lectures to small gatherings of people who love to learn. Visit for more information.





Aontas Star Awards 2017

Skills for Work is part of the East Clare Learning in Action initiative that has been shortlisted for an AONTAS Star Award next week.  It is a great example of collaboration, partnership and integrated planning to ensure that learners can access all of the learning they want even though in a rural location.  All of the learning within the initiative involves real -life projects which develop skills and competences beyond the usual classroom learning outcomes and make a contribution to the local community.

Margaret Lynch, who manages the East Clare Basic Education Service has developed this approach over a number of years, it works very well in East Clare but could work anywhere.

Margaret and Breda O Driscoll, our Clare CEF are attending the awards with the learners who gave a great account of the impact of this initiative for the judges recently.


Best of Luck to Everyone!


Promoting Skills for Work – City West

SFW Co-ordinators Deirdre Gallagher (SE) and Fiona Fay (Dublin) preparing to give their presentation at the Manufacturing Chain Event

SFW Co-ordinators Deirdre Gallagher (SE) and Fiona Fay (Dublin) preparing to give their presentation at the Manufacturing Chain Event

Skills for Work had a very productive day at the recent Manufacturing & Chain Event held in the City West Hotel. Skills for Work Co-ordinators had a great opportunity to meet with business from all over the country. There was a noticeable increase in interest for Skills for Work programmes from many of the companies present and from those visiting the Skills for Work Stand.  

Skills for Work was also one of the key speakers presenting their programme on the day

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