April 2014 Findacourse.ie E-News Update

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Education NewsTraining for the Civil Service
Education News
Recently, Pascal Donohoe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, encouraged graduates to consider a career in the EU civil service as he launched the EU annual graduate recruitment competition. The minister described a civil service career in the EU as an exciting and challenging opportunity and encouraged graduates to apply, stating that Irish candidates are highly sought after.

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Featured Educator Irish Payroll Association
Featured Educator
For over a decade the Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) has been the leading provider of nationwide training and education on Payroll, VAT and a wide range of taxes. Established in 2000 it provides nationally recognised professional qualifications in Payroll and VAT which are accredited by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, HETAC Level 6.

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Featured Courses
Introduction to Hairdressing level 5

Introduction to Hairdressing level 5, Mayo

Course outline: hairdressing theory and practice, hairdressing science, safety and health at work, communications, customer service, work experience, desk top publishing. This course is designed for learners who wish to pursue careers in Hairdressing and Cosmetics. It has both practical and theoretical elements.

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Electronics Equipment Repair 1 - City and Guilds

Electronics Equipment Repair 1 – City and Guilds , Dublin City

This course enables participants to build, test and fault-find analogue electronic circuits at introductory level. Knowledge of the operation of a wide range of electronic components and circuits and their applications in modern electronic based equipment such as amplifiers, Hi-Fi systems, stereos, control systems, etc.

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Category Focus Languages
Featured Category
From Arabic to Vietnamese, this category offers a wide range of course options ranging from languages for beginners on to more advanced courses for intermediate and advanced learners. Check out our Languages Category for more information. Visit our Languages Articles page for some language learning tips and information on specific languages.
Featured Article Climbing the Ladder, NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications
Featured Article
The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a ten level system that provides a way to compare qualifications and ensure that they are recognised nationally and abroad. Each of the ten levels are used to describe the Irish qualifications system and each level is based on national standards of skill, knowledge and ability ie. what a person is able to understand and do after completing a process of learning, with the higher numbers indicating a higher level of education.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

College Open Days ››

Upcoming Open Days
upcoming courses
distance learning courses
Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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Student Accomodation Project

digital hub student accomodationA €40 million development which will provide 500 students with accommodation is to be the latest addition to The Digital Hub in Dublin. The project, facilitated by The Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), is one of the biggest since the foundation of The Digital Hub 13 years ago and marks a new and exciting phase for the development.

The Digital Hub is located in the Liberties area of inner Dublin and is the centre for digital enterprises, currently housing approximately 70 digital companies and employing 900 people. Since its establishment, 170 companies have been a part of The Digital Hub.

The new development will be 10,650 square meters and will also include extra office space. It will be situated in Bonham Street. The accommodation is to be constructed by UK company, Knightsbridge Student Housing and will be offered to different universities on a contract basis. Knightsbridge will also refurbish the 19th century Grainstore building on the campus, which is believed to have originally been part of the Marshalsea debtor’s prison. Construction is set to begin in May, with the student accommodation completed in September 2016 and the new Grainstore office spaces completed in May 2015.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Edel Flynn, the chief executive of The Digital Hub, said that project is one of the biggest office space developments of recent years in Dublin and is the largest construction project to be happening in Dublin this year. Ms Flynn also said the development showed confidence was returning to the construction industry in the capital.

The project is to create 300 new jobs and the Minster for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte said it was great news for job creation in the construction sector and for the Liberties area, which is currently run down with a lot of vacant buildings despite it being one of the most visited areas of Dublin due to the Guinness Storehouse. The project is said to require an investment of €3.51 million.

Students from near by colleges and universities such as DIT, the National College of Art and Design, Trinity and UCD will be hoping to benefit from the new accommodation in 2016. Ms. Flynn said that the addition of 500 students to The Digital Hub was a positive move. “There is no better thing than to have students on the doorstep. It adds to the vibrancy and footfall and will support other businesses in the area.”

Author: Fiona McBennett

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Computer Graduates Shortfall

computer and ICT coursesA current shortage in Irish computer graduates means that half the vacancies in companies here are being filled by foreign graduates. To tackle this problem, the government have launched a new ICT Skills Action Plan in order to meet the needs of employers  in the hi-tech industry. Leading software scientist, Professor Brian Fitzgerald, said that Irish students need to be taught the right skills instead of technology fads.

Over the next four years, 44,500 positions are expected to open up that will require high-level computer skills and as a response to this, many colleges have begun to offer more computing courses. By 2018, Ireland is set to be producing around 2,400 honours degree computing graduates, double the current figures.

However, in a recent interview with the Irish Independent, Professor Fitzgerald criticised these courses, saying that many have only been re-branded to make them appear more attractive, while employers encouraged colleges to supply courses in the latest technology fad.

Mr. Fitzgerald is the chief scientist at Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre and has worked in the software industry both in Ireland and abroad for the past 15 years. He said that there needs to be an approach that combines the basics with high-level skills.

By comparing trends here with what was happening in Eastern Europe and former Soviet bloc countries, he saw that, unlike Ireland, these countries courses tended to be more traditional and did not cover the latest technology trends. Through his research, Professor Fitzgerald found these graduates were able to adapt to changing needs by having good fundamental skills and languages such as Java.

Ireland currently meets 60% of the demand for ICT professionals and this figure is up from 45% in 2011. Under the new ICT Skills Action Plan, the Government aim to increase the supply of Irish educated computing graduates to 74% by 2018.

The plan sets out a new initiatives such as an 1,250 additional college places every year and measures to reduce drop-out rates on computing courses. The plan also aims to increase primary and secondary school students’ interest in IT careers and another round of ICT skills conversion courses will be offered. Since 2012, there have been around 2,000 graduates from these programmes.

For those currently looking for ICT courses, be sure to check out Dorset College which offers courses such as Java-Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 6 and Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 6 Programmer. The College of Management and IT (CMIT) also offers courses such as CIW Javascript Specialist.

Author: Fiona McBennett

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Postgraduate Study Trends

postgrad courses irelandThe postgraduate sector has been in a state of uncertainty during recent years, the cutting of postgraduate student grants has been one issue to have an impact, as has the large numbers of graduates not finding their place in the employment sector.

A recent report by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on the first destinations of students after they have graduated shows the rate at which further study options have been chosen and, unsurprisingly, there was an increase in the number of graduates applying for further study in 2009 at the height of the recession; with 44% of graduates applying for further study and employment levels decreasing.

Since then, the number of graduates applying for further study has normalised and figures from 2012 show that 37% of graduates applied for further study while 52% were employed nine months after they graduated.

Seamus McEvoy, head of career services at UCC says that applying for postgraduate studies gives students a time to grow up and decide what they want to do. It also appears that having a postgraduate qualification ensures a better income.

Eilis O’Brien, communications director at UCD, says that there is a link between the qualification a student achieves and the amount of money they earn. She say that students with postgraduate degrees tend to earn more within a shorter period of time. While the cuts to the postgraduate grants have been tough on students, particularly those who do not have any other financial support, McEvoy says that students seem to be choosing postgraduate study regardless, viewing it as a necessary extension of their degree.

ICT skills are very valuable for students to have, according to O’Brien, and there is a good success rate in students being employed having completed graduate degrees and conversion courses in this area. O’Brien also advised graduates to think beyond the big postgraduate courses to the smaller ones in many different areas.

Below are just some of the postgraduate course providers to consider when choosing a course:

PCI College is located in Dublin but also has branches in Athlone, Cork, Kilkenny and Limerick. It is Ireland’s leading provider of training in counselling and psychotherapy and offers a range of postgraduate courses including Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology and Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy.

IADT Dun Laoghaire offers courses in creative and technology based areas and there is a large selection of postgraduate courses to choose from such as MA in Public Culture Studies, MSc in Cyberpsychology and MA in Screenwriting for Film and Television. There is also the opportunity to apply for an MA in Broadcast Production for Radio and Television. For more information on how to apply for this contact the college directly.

The Communications and Management Institute (CMI) is based in Dublin and offers a wide range of postgraduate courses that are industry focused and career orientated. Courses available include Management Postgraduate Diploma, HR Management Advanced Diploma and Management Studies Graduate Diploma.

The Institute of Public Administration (IPA) works to increase co-operation and understanding between public servants and the public and helps in the continual development of the public sector. The IPA also provides a range of courses such as a Doctorate in Governance, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management and Master of Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma (and Master of Economic Science) in Policy Analysis.

NUI Galway is one of the country’s leading centres of academia and offers a large selection of postgraduate courses such as a Masters of Arts in Adult Learning and Development, Postgraduate Certificate in Biomedical Science and Practice Based Play Therapy.

Author: Fiona McBennett

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Noise Assessment Training

noise assessment trainingAll employers have a duty under health and safety law to reduce the risk of hearing damage to their employees by controlling exposure to noise. In many instances, noise exposure will be so low as to cause negligible risk and noise measurements are not warranted in certain situations.

However, it may be essential that a competent risk assessment is undertaken. In practice, much of the noise assessment and survey work which is routinely undertaken falls far short of the required standard. In fact, many ‘assessments’ are clearly inadequate and have been undertaken using suspect equipment and/or sampling techniques.

Employers must undertake a suitable and appropriate assessment of the risk arising from noise exposure. This is generally done by means of a detailed noise assessment which is undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced assessor. The primary purpose of the risk assessment is to quantify the exposure levels and clarify what needs to be done to protect the health and safety of all employees who are exposed to noise. Noise measurements may not always be required, however, whenever any significant risk exists, it would be difficult to justify not using site-specific measurement data for an assessment.

noise courses

This does not mean that every assessment will necessarily require a huge volume of measurement data. Moreover, it is generally a combination of reliable measurement and good interpretation that provides the real benefit. Some ‘assessments’ consist of a series of noise measurements and provide no interpretation and guidance. A good risk assessment will include a comprehensive set of data along with appropriate interpretation and conclusions.

The findings of the risk assessment must be adequately reported and an action plan should be developed to identify and document the steps taken to meet the requirements of the law- e.g. what has been already done, what needs to be done, an indicative timetable and clear identification of the individuals responsible for the work.

It is critical that the assessment has been drawn up by someone who is competent to carry out the task and is suitably qualified and experienced. Given that the assessor’s findings will be the foundation on which the company’s controls are built, it is important that they are reliable.

It is up to the employer to take reasonable steps to satisfy himself or herself that the assessment meets all necessary legal requirements, even if the assessment is carried out by someone outside the company (such as a consultant).

Unfortunately many companies learn that their risk assessments are inadequate or their consultants were not really competent when it is too late, for example, when dealing with a claim for occupational hearing loss. In fact a useful test for a company to apply would be to question whether their assessments or assessor would stand up to scrutiny by an expert in the field (or to a cross examination in a court of law). If you undertake noise surveys yourself or if you are responsible for interpreting and managing risk it is important that you keep up to date with your own professional development.

Like many aspects of safety management, in order to avoid pitfalls, it is imperative that noise survey and assessment work is undertaken by a competent person. In addition, individuals with responsibility for risk assessment and/or environmental noise management can benefit from a training course which enables them to interpret and evaluate environmental and workplace noise assessments. These courses will also enable participants to provide guidance and assistance in risk management as most companies will continue to have residual risk long after the assessment work has been completed.

The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Assessment and Environmental Noise Measurement have been specifically developed to provide participants with the necessary training to ensure that they can competently perform their duties.

Contact Institute - Moloney and Associates, Acoustic and Environmental Consultants
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View Moloney & Associates Acoustic & Environmental Consultants on Findacourse.ie.

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Access the World with IT Training

computer and it training coursesThe world seems to revolve around computers these days. Information technology (often abbreviated to IT) governs communication, finance, medical care and many other services. We can access all of the information that we will ever need at the click of a mouse thanks to the Internet and the massive amount of data it now holds. It has become an integral part of modern life and as such everyone should try to have a basic working knowledge of computers and how to use them. Anyone that wants to take that knowledge one step further could forge an excellent career path that may lead to any number of jobs and opportunities.

IT Training courses Ireland

The majority of computer courses are conducted in computer labs and thus are classroom based, but do comprise of lectures, seminars and interactive lessons that are combined to form the best learning structure for those individuals that learn better practically and those that learn through applying theory. Some offer work placements or the option for a sandwich year spent in industry if they are full time three or four year courses. However, some courses may only last a few weeks if they focus on one basic skill.

If you are already working, a part time or short course will probably suit you better, but a full time course would suit those looking to return to education or continue in education. There is something for everyone though. Take a look at the list of resources below for a good idea of what is out there. IT training is a skill that is required in almost every industry out there these days and is easily transferable from one area of the working world to the next.

Comptia CompTIA A+ certification is a vendor neutral certification that covers numerous technologies and operating systems from such vendors as Microsoft, Apple Inc., Novell and some of the Linux distributions.The A+ certification exam was developed in 1993. There have been five versions of the A+ exam, the 1993, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 objectives, which are broken down into two separate exams. View Comptia Courses

ECDL – The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), also known as International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), is a computer literacy certification programme provided by ECDL Foundation. View ECDL Courses

Programming – Computer programming covers a range of scripting and programming languages used for creating online applications and software programmes. View Programming Courses

View more IT Training & computer courses at the following link – www.findacourse.ie/training-computing-courses-c4.html

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Findacourse.ie March 2014 E-Bulletin

Findacourse.ie Monthly E-Bulletin
Evening Courses Distance Learning Further Education Fitness Training Business Training Education News Featured Educators
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter March 2014 E-Bulletin
Education NewsDIT New Campus
Education News
After decades of operating throughout a range of splintered facilities and colleges around Dublin, DIT has obtained a large campus which will unify it and provide better facilities for future students. Like most colleges in this position DIT had been looking to consolidate it’s faculties for some time and have been lucky enough to find an ideal location in the heart of the city.

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Featured Educator Motions Fitness
Featured Educator
Motions Fitness offers fitness courses which are accredited by the University of Limerick. The Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness is a professional qualification with graduates qualified to teach in fitness centres, gyms or work as self-employed personal trainers or instructors.

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Featured Courses
Certificate in Cyber Psychology

Certificate in Cyber Psychology, Dublin

Cyberpsychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour in the context of human-technology interaction. It examines the online world and its impact on human behaviour. This part time course considers the impact of new technologies on users, from the latest mobile devices and gaming systems to high-end virtual reality equipment.

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Speak Spanish

Speak Spanish, Distance Learning

Speak Spanish will help you to learn Spanish quickly and easily. Even if you have never spoken Spanish before this course will help you to acquire effective skills in this language for work, travel and for your own enjoyment. This course gives the beginner the grammar, vocabulary and the verbal skills needed to speak basic conversational Spanish. You can progress through the lessons at your own pace.

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Category Focus Childcare
Featured Category
The demand for high quality childcare continues to increase in Ireland and as a graduate in this sector, you are entering a flexible career with a wide range of placements to choose from. A level 5 Fetac award in Childcare could gain you employment in creches, nurseries, playgroups, early start programmes or as a classroom assistant in a special school. For more details about Childcare courses view our Childcare Courses Category on Findacourse.ie or view our childcare articles page at the following link – Childcare Articles
Featured Article Online Degree Courses
Featured Article
Distance learning has become increasingly popular in recent years, however, the idea of distance learning is not all that new; there have been distance education programmes available in Ireland for over 25 years. These courses were print-based at the beginning, however, today it is easy to enrol in an online course, with the selection of subjects, colleges and courses, including degrees, greater than ever.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

College Open Days ››

Upcoming Open Days
upcoming courses
distance learning courses
Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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DIT New Campus

DIT new campus buildingsAfter decades of operating throughout a range of splintered facilities and colleges around Dublin, DIT has obtained a large campus which will unify it and provide better facilities for future students. Like most colleges in this position DIT had been looking to consolidate it’s faculties for some time and have been lucky enough to find an ideal location in the heart of the city.

A 70 acre disused site at Grangegorman is to provide the new location for the college and will merge the 39 existing DIT sites into one campus for the first time in 125 years. The site had been disused for the last 20 years and, keen to protect its long history, DIT are retaining a selection of old protected structures dating from the 1820’s onwards and reincorporating them with the majority of the development, which will be comprised of modern buildings. This interesting blend of old and new will add character to the campus and the college hopes that DIT will revitalise the surrounding area of Grangegorman into a vibrant new urban quarter.

The campus is set to be complete by 2017, providing improved facilities for 20,000 students and 2,000 staff members. New buildings include arts buildings, a student centre, new architecture, engineering, business and tourism faculties and a central library. There will be a main walk way running through the entire campus called ‘St Brendan’s Way’, as a connection to the history of the site. There will be a Luas stop at the entrance to the campus, which will be of added convenience for students.

From September 2014 on, over half of all DIT’s education and research provision will be moved to the new site and there is a list of the courses that will be based there on the DIT website www.dit.ie. The National Transport Authority has also developed a journey planner to help staff and students to find the most convenient form of public transport to the campus and a list of the directions can be found at http://www.dit.ie/about/grangegorman/informationforstudents/transporttothenewcampus/. To follow the progress of the new campus or for more information visit www.dit.ie

Author Fiona McBennett

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Photography Courses

It might be that birthday present that you’re not quite sure what to do with or maybe you’re sick of having fingers protruding into your pictures, either way it’s time to get a flash of inspiration and develop your photography skills. A photography class is a great opportunity to be creative and learn or enhance a skill.

Photography classes have changed dramatically in the last ten years with more emphasis on digital photography, and while some classes will cover traditional SLR cameras, others will only concentrate on digital photography. It may be difficult to find courses on SLR cameras and film developing, although specific photography or art schools will most likely have these kinds of courses available. Other part-time classes can offer some excellent value for the more popular photography techniques and no matter how advanced the technology gets, there are some things that will never change.

Some aspects that are the basis of most photography classes today include learning about light (aperture) and controlling how much to bring in or keep out of your picture. Related to understanding light is knowing how to use shutter speed. Fancy taking one of those pictures of the stars that shows their circular trail in the night sky or making water look blurry? Understanding the effects of using different shutter speeds will help you achieve these kinds of photos. Taking photos during the day only to find later that the pictures of the important people in your life don’t have enough light is irritating and can be fixed by learning how to use light meters and flashguns. In photography courses there is also usually time spent on film sensitivity, digital sensors, and learning how the modern digital camera works. And it’s not all lights, camera, action because learning composition and how to achieve balance with an image is a crucial component of beautiful, and memorable, photographs.

Kilroy’s College offers distance education courses in photography that focuses on taking professional quality photographs. As you complete each of the lessons, you will gain photography skills that will help with your career or for personal use. This course consists of understanding how the camera works, film processing, photographic printing, presentation and finishing techniques, and finally how the photograph conveys its message.
photography courses and classes in ireland
The College of Management and IT (CMIT) also offer a distance education course in digital photography and post-production imaging. The course covers the art of taking photographs, planning a shoot, and manipulating photographs using digital software. CMIT also offer a separate version of this course with FETAC Level 6 certification that includes an assessment of photographic work and a project.

Shoot School
in Ringsend, Dublin offers some very interesting courses including those dealing with video techniques and mastery for DSLR cameras.

Malahide Community School offers beginner photography classes which focus on composition and style, while building technical ability. The school also offers a course on digital cameras which provides instruction on storing, editing, enhancing (such as removing red eye and perform other improvements), printing and e-mailing your digital images.

Photography is most commonly a hobby but many people turn their interest into something greater. There are many photography competitions and generally there is always a market for good photography. Newspapers and magazines are readily available outlets for talented photographers. There are all kinds of events people will pay to have photographed, including sporting, social and local events. It may not be lucrative (at first) and can even be hard if your photos don’t get the recognition you think they deserve. Photography courses are a great way to learn about these avenues and opportunities and where you can usually find a sympathetic ear and helpful advice.

To see a wider range of photography courses on Findacourse.ie, view https://www.findacourse.ie/photography-courses-s2-63.html

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language – TEFL

TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a versatile occupation that enables teachers to access a global jobs market. For many of us when we think of TEFL we think of fresh faced graduates heading off for their year abroad after college. But TEFL can also be a viable career choice and one that opens up a world of possibilities both in Ireland, and a variety of countries around the globe.

If the thought of working in a foreign country for a year or more really appeals to you, then TEFL courses may just be the way to go. What a great way to experience a different county and immerse yourself in its culture. And the options are varied, think Greece or Thailand, the Czech Republic or China.

tefl courses ireland

So what do you need in terms of qualifications before you head off to foreign climes?
First of all you need to be a native English speaker, and in most (though not all countries) a degree is often a pre requisite. You will also need a TEFL Certificate of some shape or form – the choice of which is numerous. Ranging from 20 to 120 hours in duration, the better ones include classroom practice, while others can be completed online and over a week-end. Most language schools in Ireland and some Universities offer TEFL Certificates, and all vary in terms of cost, time and accreditation. But do expect to pay anything from €300 to €800+, and the upper end of the market for a better one.

If you are doing a TEFL course purely to spend a year abroad, then the type of course you do is at your own discretion. Very few schools abroad ask for a specific TEFL certificate or qualification, however for your own sake it is advisable to choose a course that includes some teaching practice. It might also be worth choosing a school that offers help finding a placement post qualification. The pay and conditions for TEFL Teachers abroad varies, depending on where you go as do the perks. In some cases subsidised or free accommodation may be provided, and free language lessons are often part of the package. Lengths of contracts vary but be prepared to commit for 6 months to a year.

The work ranges from preparing teenagers for Cambridge exams to teaching business people who want to use English in their jobs. Teaching methods to encourage the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, such as role-play, group work and audio-visual materials are used to encourage communication. So expect to be creative in preparing your classes, but don’t worry about having to speak the language of your host country, as most schools prefer if English is the only language spoken.

If you think you might also like the option of Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Ireland on your return, then you need a course that has the ACELS (Advisory Council for English Language Schools) mark. Be prepared to put in 100+ hours to gain this qualification and to spend time in teaching observation and practice. To find schools in Ireland offering the ACELS qualification, check out www.acels.ie or www.mei.ie

Once you have the ACELS TEFL course you will find that teaching English to foreign students in Ireland (strange as it may seem) is actually a booming business. The range of students who come to Ireland to learn English is broad, from Spanish teenagers to Chinese businessmen. As a result there are a lot TEFL schools meeting this demand and providing work for many teachers into the bargain. While the work isn’t as well paid as a qualified secondary school teacher, it does provide much more flexibility and a chance to work with people of different cultures.

Some teachers also get involved in teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) or ESP (English for Special Purposes). The difference between these and TEFL is that you may be teaching foreign language speakers living in an English speaking country in the first instance, and specialised English say for business or legal purposes in the second.

Whichever aspect of TEFL appeals to you, it is certainly a versatile career worth considering! Check out some of the TEFL courses on offer on findacourse.ie at the following link – https://www.findacourse.ie/tefl-courses-c43.html

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Media and Design Courses

media art and designFor anyone who loves being creative, thinking outside the box, using their hands, working on projects and exploring, experimenting and questioning ideas, then a career in the field of media, art and design can be very rewarding. There are a wide spectrum of courses in the creative fields; whether it’s a full time course to begin a creative career, a postgraduate course to broaden skills or perhaps a part time course for those who just want a creative outlet; there is something for everyone.

A wide range of colleges offer degrees in various areas of media and design. IADT in Dublin offers BA degrees in areas such as Visual Communication Design, Photography, Model Making, Computing and Multimedia programming and Design for Screen and Stage to name a few. IADT also offers a variety of 1 to 2 year post-graduate courses such as MAs in Visual Arts Practices, Screenwriting for film and television, Broadcast Production for Radio and Television. Other colleges to offer degrees in similar areas are DIT, Griffith College, University of Limerick, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, NUI, Institute of Technology Carlow and many more. These full-time degree courses are typically 3 to 4 years in length and there is everything from Creative Design and Innovation to BAs in Interior Design and Furniture to choose from.

Part-time evening courses are great for those who would like to develop a hobby or even turn a hobby into a way of making extra money by fine tuning your skills. There is a vast selection of these courses on offer and they range in length from flexible study to 4 weeks onto those which are a few months in length. The choice of specialisations are also varied. Courses in Fashion, Theatre and Media Make up, Photography, Lighting Design and History of Art courses are just a sample of what’s out there. Taking part in an evening course is the perfect way to learn new skills, or to develop on existing ones or as a taster experience in new areas that you may like to get more familiar with.

You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to study in the field of media and design as there are also lots of distance learning courses available, meaning that you can study online and fit your course work around your life in a way that suits you. The International Career Institute, Kilroy’s College and the College of Management and IT all offer courses such as Floristry, Jewellery Design and Landscaping through their distance learning programmes. These courses generally run on 28 weekly instalments and can be a great starting point for developing a new career.

Portobello Institute and KCAT Art and Study Centre both offer PLC and Further Education courses in the field of media, art and design. Portobello Institute offers a full-time course in Multimedia Production over the course of 2 days for 25 weeks. Offering a level 5 FETAC qualification, provides key design skills and gives an overview of multimedia production techniques. KCAT Art and Study Centre is offering 2 PLC courses; one in Visual Art and the other in Theatre Performance. Both provide level 5 FETAC qualifications and are full-time. In the Visual Arts course there is the opportunity to study drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and more. The course runs for 2 years is 9am-4pm daily. The Theatre Performance course covers Acting Skills and Techniques, Performance Craft, Theatre Studies and includes work experience. It runs for 1 year from 9am-4pm daily.

So whether you are itching to leave your office job, dream of a future career in photography or interior design, see your name in lights or simply want to indulge your creative side, get those creative juices flowing and sign up for one of the many courses out there!

Resources: Media, Art and Design Courses on Findacourse.ie

Author
Fiona McBennett

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New Universities on the Horizon

technological universitiesNew legislation has recently been announced that will allow institutes of technology to apply for university status. Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, said that the prospect of new universities is now a reality and described it as an exciting time for higher education.

1989, when DCU and University of Limerick obtained university status, was the last time there were new universities. The Technological Universities bill, the heads of which have been published by the minister, will allow for the unification of institutes and the establishment of technological universities in the future.

Under the legislation, technological universities will be new, education and research focused, higher education institutions. The minister said that the merging of institutes of technology will allow them to compete internationally against other similar institutions.

Dublin Institute of Technology, The Institute of Technology, Tallaght and the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown are considering combing to form a technological university as is Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology, Tralee. Carlow Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology have also expressed an interest. The Connacht- Ulster Alliance, comprised of Galway-Mayo IT, Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT, are also considering tightening their existing alliance by combining sometime in the future.

Mr. Quinn said that each of the three groups who have expressed an immediate interest will have to measure up to the standards set out in order to become a technological university and will be judged individually.

Click here to view the General Scheme of the Technological Universities Bill

Author
Fiona McBennett

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Drama and Acting Courses

drama and acting coursesDrama and acting courses are ideal for those who have dreams of starring on stage or on screen, but they can also be of great benefit to anyone who wants to have a career behind the scenes, such as directing, writing or teaching, as well as those who may just want to build their confidence to ensure they deliver perfect presentations at the workplace. There is a whole range of different reasons people sign up for courses in drama and acting and there is a wide selection of courses to choose from to cater for every need.

While there are successful actors who never took formal acting lessons, a recent report by Manpower recruiting agency found that 86% of professional actors have received formal training. Professional training not only gives you a great foundation in acting skills, it also provides career advice and support and helps when getting an agent.

While acting is often been considered a difficult job financially, having a professional training provides the student with an advantage and can lead to other jobs outside of ‘regular’ acting such as voice-overs, advertising and business and corporate trainings, all of which even well-known actors do. Professional trainings can also lead on to further studies and allow a student to branch out into a different aspect of drama.

The Gaiety School of Acting was founded in 1986 by the internationally acclaimed theatre director Joe Dowling and while its base is in Temple Bar in Dublin, there are a variety of their courses taking place in centres all over the country. Famous names to have trained at the Gaiety School of Acting include actors Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde and Stuart Townsend and writers Marina Carr, Alex Johnston and Gavin Kostick.

Courses currently on offer covers all aspects of drama and include Introduction to Drama, Acting for Camera, Stand Up Comedy, One Year Part-Time Performance/ Acting and a Two Year Full Time Intensive Professional Actor Training. More information about each of the courses is available here https://www.findacourse.ie/gaiety-school-acting-cg527.html

Author:
Fiona McBennett

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The Challenging Career Path to Nursing

routes to nursing in IrelandThe path to a career in nursing has now become a difficult one to navigate. A career in nursing that was once secure with employment guaranteed is now unstable – with often few prospects in terms of job openings in Ireland. The CAO points required for nursing is a stark reflection on the state of this discipline. In 2001 it was reported that all general nursing courses had dropped in points to between 325 and 395. Roll on eight years later and nursing points were predicted to rise after the HSE cut places in 2009. In recent years there has only been 1,300 nursing places available to students due to the HSE’s continued reduction in places. As with any college place shortages; there will be severe competition and points will rise dramatically. In fact some of the nursing courses on offer have passed the 500 points mark. Children’s and general nursing has risen to 505 in Trinity College and to 495 in UCD.

Many students view this as ironic – given that a nursing career is both demanding and stressful, yet not extremely well rewarded financially; yet the rise in points to get a place on a nursing programme will now draw on the top 30% of Leaving Cert performers. General Nursing courses are always the most popular options but the increased competition saw points for almost all programmes rising. To compare: in DCU in 2001 General Nursing was 345 points – this year it was 445 points. The highest cut-off points for a General Nursing course is National University of Ireland, Galway, at 450. The course with the highest points is Children’s and General Nursing in University College Cork, which has a limited number of places and has risen to 520 points. If one was to look at the leaving certificate grade break-down and their accompanying points; it becomes very apparent the type of required grades to make up 440 to 500 points from a pool of six leaving certificate subjects.

Nursing is now almost as competitive as Primary Teaching, which was traditionally one of the most closely fought for courses in the CAO system. As with teaching, even with restrictions in recruitment and related moratoriums, the perceived security offered by the traditional public service sector seems to be one of the defining criteria in CAO choices. Aside from the security factor (which is currently questionable), the competition for places has of course been seriously accelerated by a cut in training places this year. Despite those cuts, introduced as part of the government’s cost-saving response to the downturn, there is no let-up in interest in Nursing, and demand for places has increased again this year.

It is difficult to interpret the HSE’s actual response to the nursing crisis in Ireland by cutting places on offer to students. With retirements and on-going emigration of newly qualified nurses  all in search of better pay and conditions; there is cause for concern in the nurses union as to who will fill these places. The Irish nurses and Midwives organisation (INMO) has warned it is deeply concerned that there will be a shortage of nurses in Irish hospitals over the next three years. In fact they recently told the media that the situation ‘could reach crisis point’. They draw a comparison between what happened in the 90s when a massive recruitment campaign was needed to draw in recruit essential doctors and nurses from abroad.

General Secretary of the INMO Liam Doran says his members will make sure to let management know exactly how these plans are affecting patient safety on the ground. ‘We cannot have a situation where you cut the number of nurses, midwives and support staff in a ward and at the same time have consultants and other managers think you can maintain the same quality of service’.

Whilst words like ‘unacceptable’ and ‘dangerous’ in terms of patient safety continue to be used by those concerned; Ireland will keep exporting newly qualified nurses, seeking better working conditions and security. These are the same nurses that one day the government will no doubt be trying to recruit back.

What is unfortunate for those wishing to enter the career this year – many who would make excellent nurses; they will not get the opportunity to provide such an important nursing service, due to them being unable to make that drastically high points mark.

As we all know; a good nurse is more than a combination of high points. They have to be empathetic, responsive and practical in nature and being. These essential interpersonal and intrapersonal qualities won’t always be accompanied by 500 points – leaving a lot of potentially excellent nurses out of the hospital wards forever.

Author: Catriona Lowry

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Ireland’s first stem cell manufacturing centre set for NUI Galway

stem research, nui galwayStem cells will be manufactured for human use for the first time in Ireland following the recent licensing of a new facility in Galway by the Irish Medicines Board. The centre, which is one of only a handful of others in Europe authorised for stem cell production, aims to cultivate adult stem cells to treat conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.

The centre has been developed by researchers at NUIG’s regenerative medicine institute and was opened recently by Seán Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation. The Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland have recently approved funding for clinical trials on cells that be used to treat a condition known as critical limb ischemia.

The centre’s director, Prof Tim O’ Brien, said it would allow the team to take Prof Frank Barry’s discoveries from the basic stem cell research programme at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded REMEDI, to the new clinic so that they may compete for grant funding under the Horizon 2020 programme of the EU.

O’ Brien explained that in order to generate a sufficient amount, stem cells must be grown in laboratories and that the centre will help Ireland create therapies for a wide range of clinical problems which currently have no effective treatments. He said that the centre can only do clinical trials with authorisation from the IMB and that the licence to manufacture is obligatory for seeking permission for clinical trials.

Dr. Jim Browne, president of NUIG said that the new centre develops Galway’s international reputation of being a centre for medical technology and John O’Dea, board member of the Irish Medical Devices Association, pointed to the money to be earned from regenerative medicine products which had a 40% sales growth last year and was valued at approximately €1.3 billion.

Regenerative medical therapies combines biology and engineering and 70% of pharmaceutical companies are currently working to develop them. NUIG estimates that over 1,900 cell therapy trials are currently taking place around the world.

Author:
Fiona McBennett

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