Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 11, PARTNERSHIPS - Page 47

“From my experience teaching in the Access and Foundation Year area and particularly teaching adult learners many attend regularly, show interest in the topics and engage in discussion and debate in class but drop out at the assessment stage. We wanted to avoid this happening here”, Karl said.

THE RESULTS

By June 2017 all twelve students completed the full programme and all recorded that they enjoyed the experience, developed academic skills, learned a lot about themselves, built friendships with students and tutors alike and felt themselves to be more confident. Importantly the majority had clear plans to progress.

The proof of the real success of any Access programme of course is in the progression of students. BIFE and all those involved in this initiative were delighted to see that eight students from the Access course enrolled on courses starting this September 2017. The programmes chosen were diverse. Students are studying on Art, Pharmacy

Assistant, Horticulture, Sports, Business, Media Studies and Medical Secretarial courses. For those involved in organising and delivering the course it was heart-warming to see them all enjoying their student experience. In addition, two of the twelve Access students advanced to complete courses in other institutions.

According to BIFE Principal Ray Tedders they were delighted with the results of the programme particularly as it resulted in so many progressing to education which is a key driver for social inclusion and social mobility. “Furthermore, this type of course is in line with a key priority of the Solas Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-2019 of addressing the unemployment challenge and providing targeted skills programmes that support job seekers to re-skill, up- skill”, he said, adding that BIFE will continue to work with other partners to help people engage with education and training to help enhance career prospects.

BIFE has recently completed a similar but shorter programme in co-operation with The Little Bray Community Centre. This involved a programme which focused on communications, self-confidence, and holistic health. Classes took place in both BIFE and The Little Bray Community Centre. BIFE plans other similar initiatives with community groups for the future.

www.bife.ie