Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Teresa Mortell Guest Speaker, Paul Patton Director FET Photo John Mortell

A unique hub for comm-unity learning has been officially opened in Kilmallock by the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD. The newly refurbished state-of-the-art Further Education and Training Centre coincides with the building of a new primary school and secondary school in the town. Extensive refurbish-ments 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, Com-munity Education and Back to Education Initiative provision.
Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Donovan said: “Kilmallock is a town steeped in history and boasts a proud tradition of arts, culture and heritage, together with sporting achievement. Today Kil-mallock 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 learn-ing 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, health-care, art and construction.
Centre Director, Eoin Shinners, is very excited about the potential the new hub offers: “The develop-ment 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 Educat-ion. 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.” He continued: “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”.
Limerick and Clare Educ-ation and Training Board has a clear and ambitious vision for the new Further Education and Training Centre Kilmallock Town Campus, built upon a legacy of community engagement.
Accompanying the Minister at the opening 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.