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St Oliver’s pupils came face-to-face with a Lely Robot

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By Michelle Crean 

Children got to experience first-hand the difference between urban and rural life last week after a school trip to a local farm.

Sixth class pupils from St Oliver’s who are taught by Joanne Rattigan, took some time out from their books and visited Mark Leslie’s farm in Drombrick, Beaufort, a family run farm with over 70 cows that produce milk, and got hands-on experience that no books could ever provide.

“Growing up in an urban environment, there’s one thing you know children are missing out - a trip to the rural areas and seeing a real live working farm with animals is rare these days,” Joanne told the Killarney Advertiser.

Farms are a great place to visit any time of year because they provide students with an experience to see how farms work, how animals help us, and it is great!”

The visit came about as their classmate Pierce Leslie, had a very strong connection to a working farm, she added.

“With the help of Pierce’s dad, Tom, and his uncle Mark, we were able to arrange a class trip to a working dairy farm. There are a few children in my class that are farming fanatics and their enthusiasm for farming and farm machinery had rubbed off on the rest of the children!”

The whole class were excited to see the milking machines, the robots that helped out on the farm and the huge tractors that they had heard so much about.

Tom Leslie started off the visit by briefing the children on the changes that he had seen down through the years on dairy farms. The children then had the opportunity to see old milking methods and old milking machines. They then got to experience the current methods of milking cows using the Lely milking robots.

“They were amazed!” she said.

Mark and Tom Leslie brought the children on a tour around the farm and explained in detail about the robots.

“The children got to see how the robots are managed, what information the robots give to the famers and the difference they make to the life of a modern day farmer. Farming is educational, and teaching your children where exactly their food comes from is a lesson itself. Children will see the hard work and effort that goes into planning, growing and harvesting crops as well as raising and caring for livestock.”

And understanding the farming process can help children to be grateful for their food, she added.

“Because of children’s inquisitive minds, they are eager to know why things are the way they are and will ask many questions about their immediate environment. Mark and Tom were on hand to answer the multitude of questions that were thrown at them.”

Tom ended the tour with a lesson on farm safety.

Tom pointed out numerous hazards on a farm and things that farmers need to do to ensure safety for farm workers and the animals.

“We were fascinated walking around the farm, meeting the cows, watching them feeding, learning about the daily life of a dairy cow and experiencing the smells and aromas that we were unaccustomed to! We were fascinated by the robots and were delighted to see them in action. We had a lovely time on the farm and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Thanks very much to Tom Leslie for organising the trip. Thanks to Mark Leslie and his father Michael for inviting us to the farm and educating us. We appreciate the time you spent with us and for making the trip really enjoyable.”

 

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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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