Archive for April, 2015


Skills for Work Celebration

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.  

DDLETB Skills For event. Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

Bernie Brady (AONTAS), Paddy Levelle (CEO DDLETB) and Niall Bolger (Án Post), at the SFW celebration lunch.


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.

DDLETB Skills For event. Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

Eddie Doyle President IFA speaking at the SFW STAR Award Lunch


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. 

DDLETB Skills For event. Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

Paul Cummings Training & Development Manager (Án Post) speaking at the SFW Star Award lunch


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Balancing Work and Education

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.


Yours truly,


Paul McKenna

Assistant Director of Nursing



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