Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh TY students, Andrew Purcell and Olivia Kenny taking a course
A new apprenticeship ‘taster’ scheme for transition years with an interest in the hospitality industry as a career is proving highly popular with students in the region.
The initiative, run by the Hospitality Education and Training Centre in Limerick, is aligned with a new national strategy to integrate ‘taster’ vocational courses into second level education.
The National Further Education and Training Strategy published by SOLAS in July highlighted a lack of vocational options in schools as preventing young people from developing interests in the area.
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board schools are currently participating in two different hospitality taster courses specifically developed for transition years: a junior chef ‘apprenticeship taster’ and a barista skills taster.
Running over eight weeks, one day a week, the courses are aimed at students who have an interest in the hospitality sector as a career, or in learning an essential skill for life.
Ciara Ní Nualláin, who is a transition year student at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, one of the participating schools said: “I’m really enjoying the course and I feel it will benefit me greatly in the future.
“Not only am I improving my cooking skills but I’m also becoming more confident, independent and creative while thinking on my feet. I would highly recommend this course.”
Commenting on the initiative, Kevin Ó Raghallaigh, Principal, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our transition year students to develop the key skills required in both culinary techniques and barista training.
“They are being encouraged to develop their confidence and explore their creative ability, all the while gaining an insight into the hospitality industry.”