MORE than 40 students of the National Learning Network (NLN) in Bantry have been honoured for their inspirational efforts at a recent certification ceremony. NLN is a division of the Rehab Group, and students were recognised for completing a range of courses designed to support people to get a job or to progress to further education.
Several students, who have since gone on to further education or secured employment, attended the event including Richard Doyle, who was a student on the Foundation training programme. ‘When I joined the centre last October I wasn’t the same person as you see standing before you today. I was very insecure about myself, very quiet, shy and spending most of my time on my own,’ said Richard. ‘Since then I have noticed a significant change in me as a person. I feel now that anything that is put in front of me, I will not shy away from. I have learned amazing new skills and even rediscovered skills that I forgot I ever had.’ Minister Jim Daly, who has special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, attended the event and congratulated the students: ‘The skills you have garnered over your time here in NLN will set you up for the future, whether that is in employment or in further education or, simply, in your personal life as a member of the community.’
Dr Fiona Brennan, National Learning Network manager added: ‘Each of the students have received a nationally recognised award and qualification that will help them to secure employment or go on to further education. ‘Most of all, they have developed skills to improve their independence, wellbeing, and give them the confidence to participate in their own communities and workplaces.’
As Ireland’s largest non-governmental education and training organisation, NLN offers over 70 different training programmes from art and cookery to computer and business skills in centres across the country. Vocational courses are funded by the CETB and in Bantry they include Foundation Training, Employment Skills (on-the-job training), Employability Skills, Horticulture and Office Administration.