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Killarney businesses support staff at University Hospital Kerry

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DONATION: Stephen O'Leary with some of the electrical goods his family firm has donated to UHK. Photo: Paudie Healy

By Sean Moriarty

Several businesses in Killarney have donated electrical equipment to new staff canteens at University Hospital Kerry.

O’Leary’s Expert Electrical on Plunkett St has donated kettles, toasters, microwaves and a television to the hospital staff in Tralee.

The hospital had to open additional staff welfare facilities to cope with the growing numbers of new or returning staff.

The new canteen was only fitted out with basic equipment, mainly due to the short time frame involved in getting it up and running.

Kerry Mayor Niall Kelleher approached businesses in the Killarney area who were in a position to donate the vital equipment and O’Leary’s Expert Electrical, a family-run business operated by brothers Mike and Stephen O’Leary, answered the call.

“We are all in this together,” Stephen told the Killarney Advertiser. “Anything we can do to make it easier on the staff and nurses at the hospital – we will do it. It is a good cause and every little helps. We all have to pull together.”

The initial call for donations of electrical goods came from well-known local photographer Paudie Healy.

The Kerry Phone Centre on College St, the local Vodafone agent, donated six mobile phones to the cause.

“We offered to donate some mobile phones to give to the nurses to use instead of them using their own private phones. Video calling has become so important in keeping families connected, so it made sense to help them to do this without any cost to the staff,” Kerry Phone Centre proprietor Jessica O’Connor told the Killarney Advertiser.

"It’s a small token of our appreciation to the nurses and staff on the frontline and we hope it will help the families of COVID patients to stay in touch with their loved ones at this time.”

[caption id="attachment_31458" align="alignleft" width="342"] STAYING IN TOUCH: Jessica O'Connor with staff members Billy O'Connor and Nigel Leahy with some of the mobile equipment that that the Kerry Phone Centre donated to UHK. Photo: Paudie Healy[/caption]

Meanwhile, Vodafone Ireland has committed to supporting older members of society who are alone, in self isolation or cannot see family and friends stay connected over the coming weeks, by donating one thousand new smartphones along with two thousand €20 credit top-ups to ALONE, an organisation which supports older people in Ireland. The smartphones will be distributed by ALONE and its partners, who are working together to support older members of the community during these difficult times.

Vodafone has ensured that the smartphones are pre-loaded with a number of resourceful applications including WhatsApp, Facebook, Spotify, RTÉ News, along with information about online food deliveries and other important phone numbers including the ALONE national helpline.

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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.

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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.
_______________________________________________________________________

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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