by John Madden & Lorraine O’Connor
The words, ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,’ have been attributed to William Butler Yeats; and with that in mind, we remember it’s that time of the year again when we wonder what we will do next year.
Well readers, wonder no more because Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Service is recruiting for their Local Training Initiative (LTI) programme starting in September 2017.
The LTI Programme is for people aged 16 and upwards and targets specific groups that may experience barriers accessing employment or mainstream training and education initiatives giving learners the confidence and support they need to access further education. Participants also receive a Training Allowance of €40 plus travel for those under 16 years of age and €160 plus travel for those over 18; and above all else, a qualification that can be the first rung on the all-important ladder of education.
However, while we can tell you the value of having an education and how important it is, it’s those who have experienced it who are the true experts regarding what it’s all about. And, with that in mind, Travellers’ Voice was lucky enough to speak with three of the LTI’s many success stories, Jason, Celine and Stephen.
Jason (24) speaks very highly of the course and told Travellers’ Voice Magazine that the experience really “Improved confidence and literacy” for him and since participating it has led him to do a CDC course (Level 5). “At the moment I’m learning about Youth Management, and I’ll be going out to Romania to help out in the orphanages,” Says Jason, who was quick to realise the value of the course, saying that one hundred per cent “It’s been huge for me, it helped me get back ‘out there’, a great boost for me! Really recommend it, and the team were supportive and always happy to help.”
Celine (18) thrived while on the course, telling the magazine, “The benefits of doing the course has been great! It’s helped me get a job in Exchange House on reception. The pace of the course was good, as I was able to keep up all through the year. I’d really recommend it as it opens doors. If it wasn’t for the course I wouldn’t have the job!”
Stephen (18) is another success story from the course, and said, “There’s a good lot of work involved in it but it kind of prepared me for other things that secondary school didn’t. I’m moving onto college in September, the Liberties College, here in Dublin where I’ll be doing ‘Youth Studies and Community Development’. The support from Erica and Lorraine here in exchange House was great, they gave me the confidence in myself to do all of it! It was just a different setting, and you feel a bit more comfortable being around your own people too.”
There are no formal education requirements for the programme. It is recognised that many people may have some problems reading and writing but that this should not deter them from participating in a programme. Help is provided in a discreet and sensitive manner to anyone who wishes to improve their literacy levels.
Examples of modules studied at Exchange House Ireland
- Guarding Skills
- Functional maths
- Health Related Fitness
- Work Experience
- Computer Applications
How to apply:
Erica on 01 685 4392 or Lorraine on 01 685 4699 or 01 872 1094 and press 2 to arrange a meeting.
For those of you living outside Dublin, these courses are run across Ireland. If you would like to know more about what is available in your local area check out the www.fas.ie website or alternatively, you can make enquiries in your local office for Social Welfare. Some places offer craft courses too, so have a look and see if there’s anything that will take your fancy. As the title of this article says, ‘All experts start off as beginners’ and we all have to learn to crawl before we can walk. In these modern and financially straining times it is always important to have something to fall back on or something new to start, you never know, in a few years, it could be you throwing that graduation hat up in the air!
Thanks to Lorraine and the team at Exchange House for helping with this article and to Jason, Stephen and Celine for taking the time to talk to the magazine!