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National Learning Network has Changed my Life

27 August 2012


Monday 27th August 2012: “National Learning Network has changed my life. Two years ago I didn’t know how to turn on a computer. Now, at the age of 50, I’m heading to college to study digital communications and graphic design and it’s all thanks to National Learning Network.” The words of Eddie Whelan, one of over 50 students who graduated from National Learning Network in Wexford today. The students were presented with their certificates by Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in a ceremony at the Swan Training Centre in The Faythe.
National Learning Network offers a range of rehabilitative and vocational training courses funded by the HSE and FáS, which allow people who need extra supports the opportunity to gain the qualifications that they want in a way and at a pace that suits their needs. The FETAC, ECDL and City and Guilds courses are taught by instructors who tailor their teaching methods to the individual needs of students depending on the challenges that they face, be it with a disability or mental health difficulty.
Attending National Learning Network has had a life-changing effect on Eddie. “Before I came to National Learning Network I hadn’t worked since 1998 because of my disability. My confidence was so low. National Learning Network staff were wonderful. They provided encouragement, support and training that was first class. Now, I’ve got a qualification, I’m embarking on a new career and I’ve made friends that I know I’ll have for the rest of my life.”
Minister Howlin presented students with certificates in a range of courses that support people in entering into or returning to employment. These include the Employer-based Training, Pathways, Fresh Start and Options programmes. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Minister Howlin said, “As Ireland’s largest non-Governmental training organisation, the National Learning Network is instrumental in providing opportunities for learning and skills development in an inclusive way and helping all its students to reach their fullest potential. After all, every citizen has the right to feel empowered to live freely in an equal society.
“I have been greatly impressed by the wide variety of programmes offered here and the national and international recognition that these courses achieve. It is clear to me that they have been well designed, focussing on adolescents and adults. The vocational programmes see students moving directly to a related job, or towards further education, supporting each student in achieving the goals they have set for themselves."
Mary Nolan, Area Manager of National Learning Network in Wexford, said, “This is a great a day for everyone who is receiving these nationally-recognised awards, which reward the hard work that all of our students have put into developing their skills during their time with us. In 2011, over 90 per cent of people who completed a course with us progressed to further education, training and employment. It is great to see so many of our students employed locally here in Wexford in jobs that we hope they will enjoy and progress in, and others fulfilling ambitions for further training and study. All of the staff are very proud of their achievements and we wish each student well for the future.”
National Learning Network works on a continuous intake basis and if you are interested in a place, please contact the centre directly at 053 914 7279.
For more information contact
Mary Nolan, Area Manager, National Learning Network, Wexford.
Tel: 053 914 7279, Email:
National Learning Network
National Learning Network is Ireland's largest non-Governmental training organisation with more than 50 purpose-built training and employment centres nationwide catering for over 5,000 students each year.