The brochure was devised by DLDC in collaboration with the County branch of Guidance Counsellors as well as local education and training stakeholders. The brochure was funded as part of DLDC’s role in the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP), a national programme which aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality.
“Essentially the brochure maps the wide range of opportunities available to young people within the County to access training and education opportunities in a very user friendly way. Donegal Youth Service assisted us in the initial design as we wanted to ensure that the information was presented in a clear but attractive way’ said Susan Kierce Marsh, SICAP Co-ordinator for Lifelong Learning DLDC. Susan noted that as a County we ought to be very proud of both the variety and quality of supports to young people. She noted that in her experience, both young people and their parents/guardians frequently found it difficult to access information on the plethora of services available. Susan explained that ‘Our brochure will help guide individuals to make informed choices about the range of opportunities that are available to them’.
Chairman of DLDC, Mr Jim Slevin noted in his opening address that ‘It is a strategic priority of DLDC to promote and support access to Lifelong educational, training and learning opportunities. Indeed, the concept of Lifelong learning is central to our work and we believe that students of all ages and abilities should be able to participate in education and training appropriate to their needs and abilities. We know that learning new things makes people more competent and confident. It improves the chances of finding work that matches their interests and abilities. Research shows that learning new things makes people happier. We support people to access appropriate learning opportunities that prepare them for life. Furthermore, he noted that ‘Lifelong Learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability. As a Local Development Company, these elements are very important to us in our day to day work with both individuals and communities. This brochure is a prime example of a Local Development Company using a bottom up approach i.e. developing local solutions to local issues.’
Anne Mc Hugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB and a member of DLDC Board, in her address noted the positive and collaborative nature of the relationship between DLDC and Donegal ETB. She endorsed the brochure as a valuable tool for young people, parents and professionals working in the area. She was happy to see that the brochure is available in both Irish and English
Padraic Fingleton, Chief Executive of DLDC noted that the brochure will help young people to access information on education and training opportunities available within the County and in turn, they will be able to create a positive and fulfilling life for themselves. He reiterated DLDC’s commitment to continued collaborative work with organisations and agencies.
Having launched the brochure, Susan Kierce Marsh noted that DLDC will now focus on the distribution of it to across the County to ensure that all schools, Youth Clubs, sports clubs, Community Centres have copies of it available.