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A letter to the people of Killarney from the Mayor

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Dear friends of Killarney Advertiser,

As Easter approaches, our county is experiencing a new and very challenging reality.

Some of us are cocooned, some are hospitalised and social distancing is the new norm. Streets and roads are almost empty. Hotels, shops, restaurants and entertainment centres stand silent and locked to all and sundry.

Easter, the time of year that traditionally signalled the really vibrant beginning of the tourist season in Kerry, will this year be eerily silent.

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging each one of us individually and all of us as a community and how we respond will have a lasting impact for better or worse.

We are very aware of and acknowledge the dedication, in terribly trying circumstance, of all who work in our hospitals, nursing homes and caring for people in their own homes.

We salute their courage and compassion.

We thank our Gardaí for their public service and we are deeply grateful to Bishop Ray Browne, our priests and ministers of religion for continuing to proclaim their good news.

Buíochas le múinteoirí who educate from a distance. Thanks too to all who continue to serve us in shops and pharmacies.

You are lifesavers at many important levels.

On behalf of all in the Municipal District, I thank the various media outlets for keeping us informed and advised. A special mention for Council staff who keep our streets clean and the services operational.

Sadly, we hear stories of some people behaving in a manner that puts lives at risk. I ask each person of whatever age to behave with respect for themselves and their neighbours. We are all being asked to make the necessary sacrifices for these few weeks in order that all of us will have a bright and prosperous future.

Each one of us, each day, can make a difference and help to ease the pain of isolation and dispel the fear of loneliness.

Please make that phone call and say a happy hello.

Easter is the season of new beginnings, the season of joy and the season of resurrection. We must not, by our attitude or behaviour, allow it to become one of death and despair. If we all do our own best we will in due course return to a life more normal.

As Mayor I thank you and I wish each of you good health and happiness. I know that together we will overcome the present great challenge and then work to restore our special place to where it properly belongs.

Guím Beannnachtai na Cásca ar gach duine. Gléas tú féin i neart Dé mar do luamhaire.

Micheal Gleeson,

Mayor of Killarney Municipal District

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.

At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.

NEXT STEP

Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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