A young mother found her dream job in nursing after returning to education to do her Leaving Cert with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service.
Adele Dempsey (aged 31) left school at 15, but it was only after starting a family that she realised the value of a Leaving Cert education.
“My oldest girl was nine at the time. She was coming home with her homework and I was struggling to help her. I left school because I got work but things were different back then,” Adele told Donegal Daily.
Donegal ETB’s two-year Leaving Cert for adults programme was the perfect option for Adele, as her youngest boy was just one year old and she could have him close by in a creche while she attended classes. This support gave Adele the confidence to go back to education in 2012.
“The teachers and staff give you loads of support,” she said.
Adele said her biggest adjustment with going back to education was the change in home and family routine.
“I found it hard in the first few weeks, managing kids, dinners and homework. I got sitting down to do my work after 8 or 9 at night. But the teachers didn’t give you much homework. The teachers were a big help getting you back into a routine of studying.”
All learners study the six Leaving Cert subjects of English, Maths, History, Geography, Biology and Business.
Adele found the style of teaching and learning with ETB staff suited her well and set her up for college.
“The teachers don’t spoon feed you, they help you work things out so you understand. They really take their time with each person to make sure everyone is on the same page,” she said.
Adele also explained how the programme is structured to ease learners back into a study routine.
“They start you off with the basics and everything you’ve learned fits into place by second year,” she said.
“It is great for people who left school early or have done Leaving Cert Applied and are finding it hard to get into colleges and get job offers. They might not have the confidence to go back, thinking it’s like school, but the way they teach, they really push you to do your best and they know what you can achieve.”
The Donegal ETB adult guidance counsellors inspired Adele to go beyond the Leaving Certificate and apply for college.
“I always wanted to do nursing but I just never thought I’d have the points to apply for a course. The guidance counsellor told me to apply and see how it goes.”
Adele successfully got her offer to study General Nursing at LYIT. Five years later, she has a full-time role in nursing at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Donegal ETB’s Adult Education Officer Charles Gorney said learners can gain much more than a Leaving Cert qualification from the course.
“Learners often gain a confidence they felt they didn’t have before and Adele’s experience is a great example of this. Doing the Leaving Cert as an adult is a big step but we have an excellent pass rate and many learners go onto higher education programmes afterwards.” said Charles.
“For anyone who currently finds themselves unemployed and would like to get back to work, don’t be afraid to call our guidance staff on 0749178088 and they can discuss our range of courses with you and answer any questions you may have. You can also apply online for many of our courses through www.fetchcourses.ie if you prefer to apply that way.”
Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service offers a range of courses to help those who are unemployed to get back to the workplace. These courses are offered through the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), Back to Education Initiative (BTEI), Traineeships and Specific Skills Training.
For more information about courses for the unemployed, visit https://www.donegaletb.ie/further-education-training/fet-programmes-explained/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org with course inquiries.Tags: