MOUNTEMLLICK FEC is going from strength to strength with waiting lists for courses and very successful results in this year’s FETAC examinations.
The centre had a very busy and fruitful year according to centre director Mary Kavanagh who was speaking at this month’s Laois VEC meeting. “Both our childcare and hairdressing courses were very successful this year. We also had a lot of extra curricular activities throughout the year including sports and music and our recent talent show”.
The talent show invited secondary schools from all over the county to participate and was held in Mountmellick Arts Centre. The talent show was a huge success for the organisers. As well as this, Ms Kavanagh told the Laois VEC committee about the summer programme in the centre. This includes students completing a documentary for the president of Ireland regarding young people’s views.
Ms Kavanagh also spoke about traveller integration in the centre. “We have quite a number of travellers applying to come on our Youthreach programme and I find them to be keen, enthusiastic and polite, lovely people to have around”. The centre’s Youthreach programme only has 50 places and is in constant demand with waiting lists for next year’s course. “We have no problem with integration here but we wouldn’t differenciate as they are all students”.
Ms Kavanagh said that students leaving the Youthreach programme are encouraged to go on and do FETAC level 5 courses in other centres around the county. “The back to education allowance does have an enabling factor in this as most of the students are supprting themselves”.
She said that this year saw a number of Youthreach students finishing courses in Portlaoise College and that education showed “academic and social improvements” in the students. Ms Kavangh was praised by Councillor Mary Sweeney who said, “it is good to hear and see what is happening in the centre and you run a good ship here”.