Unique hub for learning is unveiled in County Limerick

 Further Education and Training Centre in Kilmallock offers a wide range of courses

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

Unique hub for learning is unveiled in County Limerick

Sean O'Carroll, Leesha Foley, Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan TD, Paul Patton, Dr Eimear Brophy and Eoin Shinners at the opening of the Further Education and Training Centre, Kilmallock

A UNIQUE hub for community learning has been officially opened in Kilmallock.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD opened the newly refurbished state-of-the-art Further Education and Training Centre.

The unveiling coincides with the building of a new primary school and the expansion of the secondary school in the town.

Extensive refurbishments have transformed the old and dated college into a spacious and fully accessible facility for adults in Kilmallock and the surrounding localities.

A wide range of full-time and part-time courses are offered by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) in the centre including: Post-Leaving Certificate, VTOS, literacy, community education and Back to Education Initiative provision.

“Kilmallock is a town steeped in history and boasts a proud tradition of arts, culture and heritage, together with sporting achievement,” said Minister O’Donovan.

“Today Kilmallock announces itself as an example to follow in terms of education provision for the entire community. The new Further Education and Training Centre builds on a long tradition of adult and community education in the area and learners will now have access to the latest technology and high quality teaching in this spacious and welcoming campus.”

It is envisaged that the new Kilmallock campus will accommodate up to 150 learners and will serve as a hub for community learning and development in the area.

The development is also fully aligned with the national SOLAS Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-2019 to “include levels of active inclusion through provision of high quality, more accessible and flexible education, training and skills development and supports suited to the individual.”

Such has been the demand to date for more further education and training courses at a local level that the centre is looking at the feasibility of offering more full-time and part-time courses in the areas of business, digital media, business, healthcare, art and construction.

Eoin Shinners, co-ordinator of PLC courses at the centre, is very excited about the potential the new hub offers.

“The development of the centre comes on the back of demand here on the ground in Kilmallock by people looking to return to education, to retrain, to upskill and ultimately return to the workforce or progress to higher education. The developments that have materialised in the centre would not have been possible without the continued support of Paul Patton, director of Further Education and Training with LCETB.

“I want to wholeheartedly extend my sincere gratitude to Paul and LCETB who have played a pivotal role in transforming the centre into a modern facility that now fosters a shared vision among its entire staff, to provide the highest quality of education and training for our learners”.

Accompanying the minister were George O’Callaghan, chief executive, LCETB; Paul Patton, director of Further Education and Training, LCETB; numerous other representatives from LCETB and Limerick City and County Council, public bodies and local businesses.