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Minister opens new access road and car park at Tomies Wood

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The Minister of State for Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, visited Killarney National Park on Friday last and officially opened the new access road and car park to the ever-popular Tomies Wood, among other engagements.

“It is great to see this project completed,” the Minister said. “Tomies Wood and the Tomies Loop have always been popular as a recreational walk, and in providing an official car park and road to the wood, the National Parks and Wildlife Service have enabled a better experience for all our visitors.”

The Minister planted an Oak tree to mark the occasion.

“This project would not have been possible without the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and I would like to thank the Department of Rural and Community Development for all their assistance.”

BLUE POOL TRAIL

Following the opening of the new road, Minister Noonan spent time discovering the Blue Pool Trail which is under development at Cloghereen in conjunction with the Kerry office of NCBI and Down Syndrome Kerry. The Pool Wood Trail has been completely resurfaced, new guide ropes and braille discs have been installed along with universal seating and picnic furniture.

Minister Noonan then visited Killarney House and Gardens to raise the Green Flag and view an international children’s art exhibition in the grounds of Killarney House. The Project 2020 Le Chéile exhibition was started by the Irish Museum of Childhood online earlier this year. It has gone on to be nominated at the Family Friendly Museum Awards 2020. The first outdoor staging of this project is in Killarney House, before it transfers to Nepal for the next outdoor exhibition in January.

NATIONAL PARK VISIT

Later in the day, the Minister viewed the renovations by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to Derrycunnihy Church and saw the considerable repair and conservation works undertaken there in 2020. This was a partnership project between Built Heritage and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

The Minister commented that it was “beautifully situated” on the ‘Ring of Kerry’ route, adjacent to Galway’s Bridge, and seen by many thousands of visitors travelling through Killarney National Park. Derrycunnihy Church is a protected structure, which contains a protected maternity roost of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, in addition to a pair of barn owls and swallows.

“This project was aimed at repairing the historic structure of the church and sustaining and enhancing the protected Lesser Horseshoe Bat roost,” the Minister said. “I am thrilled that the success of these conservation works has been proven by the fact that a number of bats have already returned to the roost!”

The Minister concluded his visit to the National Park by expressing his gratitude for the continued commitment shown by the staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“The staff of the NPWS who managed these projects that I have seen are essential workers, and remained on duty throughout the COVID-19 emergency, keeping the Park open to the local residents, while all the time promoting safety and continuing to work tirelessly with the day to day work of the park and of major projects, I am proud to work alongside them."

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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.
_______________________________________________________________________

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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