Clare project shortlisted for prestigious adult learning award

Clare project shortlisted for prestigious adult learning award

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The Vocational Training Programme, which is run by the Brothers of Charity in Ennis, has been shortlisted for the AONTAS STAR Awards 2020 under the Sustainable Employment category.

The STAR Awards, which recognises the very best in adult learning in Ireland, is organised by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, as part of the Adult Learners’ Festival 2020 taking place from 2nd to 6th March.

The Vocational Training Programme supports people with intellectual disabilities who are unemployed to engage in further education or training with a view to gaining employment. The programme has been running since 2008. Training is given in key workplace skills and work experience in the local area is provided.

Congratulating the shortlisted projects, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “Adult learning brings people together, strengthens communities and enables people to reach their potential. In a world of fast-paced change and increasing inequalities, we need a range of innovative educational opportunities that prepare people for the future. Ireland is continually developing an inclusive further, adult and community education system that leaves no-one behind and the AONTAS STAR Awards duly recognises these high-quality adult learning projects. The STAR Awards ceremony shines a light on the unsung adult learning heroes across urban and rural communities the length and breadth of the Island.”

The STAR Awards is judged by an independent judging panel comprising of adult learners, tutors, and adult learning experts. The judging panel will meet with the shortlisted groups in early February before choosing a winner in each of the seven categories: health and wellbeing; third-level access and engagement; social inclusion (large organisation / small and medium organisation); sustainable employment (large organisation / small and medium organisation); and a special recognition award for a European Social Fund (ESF) initiative.

The STAR Awards ceremony will be hosted in The Law Society, Dublin on Monday, 2nd March. Over 150 guests are expected to attend the awards ceremony, representing 22 shortlisted projects.

The STAR Awards is proudly sponsored by the European Social Fund, The Teachers Union of Ireland, The Open University Ireland and the Open College Network Northern Ireland.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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