Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 8 - Page 8

Spotlight on Brenda Lynch

What is the role of an Adult Education Officer in KWETB?

Like most jobs today, my role is multifaceted, and includes among other responsibilities the provision of state funded education services for adults and young people who are out of full-time education. Together with my colleague in Wicklow we oversee the running of 26 Further Education and Training Centres and programmes in both counties, providing full-time and part-time accredited and non-accredited courses. Our other services include a Youth Service and Adult Guidance Counselling services. In addition, we are engaged in education programmes with small and major employers in our area and in 2015 over 15,000 learners benefited from our courses.

Since November 2015 we have taken over the provision of training services in KWETB, including apprenticeships and the Community Training Centre in Newbridge from SOLAS (formerly FAS). While the transfer has been a challenging process, the resulting streamlining of our services to adults and young people has increased our capability.

How has the transfer of training functions impacted on your job?

This is a very exciting time for the training sector, particularly with the recent announcement of 50,000 new apprenticeship and traineeship places being created over the next five years. There is also the development of new apprenticeships in a variety of new areas. Young people leaving school will soon have a lot more options and alternatives to the CAO and third level route. Similarly people returning to work following a period of unemployment will soon have many more options and career paths to choose from.

The transfer of training functions to KWETB means we can be part of the process of developing and offering new apprenticeships and traineeships. This year we will be delivering courses which are very new to us including Warehouse Operations, Forklift Truck Driving, CompTIA, Network Management, Call Centre Operations, Animal Grooming and HGV Driving.

What is KWETB and what services does KWETB offer for Adults?

KWETB are the main providers of education services in Kildare and Wicklow. Our services extend from primary education to post primary, Post Leaving Certificate Courses, Adult, Basic and Community Education, Employee Education Programmes, Adult Guidance Counselling Services, Youth Services, Sport Education and Promotion and Training including Apprenticeships.

We are a major employer in the region with over 2,500 expert staff and over 26,000 students! Our part-time courses range from basic reading and writing skills, return to education support, IT Skills, Community Care, Culinary Skills, Basic Construction skills to hobby courses like Pilates and language courses, to name a very few. Our Community Education service supports community groups in developing learning activities for themselves and their communities, working with groups like Men’s Shed, Traveller organisations and older people’s groups. Full-time courses are aimed at people seeking to return to employment or progress to further or higher education and range from QQI Level 3 to Level 6.

Youthreach and the Community Training Workshop provide full-times courses to young people aged between 15 and 20 who are out of full-time education.

KWETB 'transforming lives through learning'