In an analysis of further education and training expenditure by Education Training Boards, the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service noted that, given the characteristics of the labour market and low basic skills among certain cohorts of unemployed people, it is necessary to equip individuals with the foundations to pursue more specific programmes and meet important education and social objectives. In this capacity, the Galway City Community Training Centre (CTC) (Galway CTC) aims to provide learners with basic skills to progress further in the labour market.
The CTC is funded by the Galway & Roscommon Education and Training Board (ETB). It provides training for early school leavers and lone/independent parents aged between 16 and 25. The courses offered are at levels three and four on the national framework of qualifications (EQF levels 2 and 3).
The Galway CTC led an initiative to rebuild a Honda Civic car, which belonged to a current learner. The aim of the initiative was to improve literacy skills through work-based learning.
The literacy programme at the training centre aims to help learners complete the four core modules: computer literacy, communications, career preparation and application of numbers.
Instructors guided learners in best practice and enabled them to develop skills in many technical areas, such as calibrating tools. At the same time, learners worked on improving their literacy and numeracy skills. This type of initiative was a move from the normal structures of courses and proved to be successful not just in meeting learners’ goals but in providing them with another medium to complete their course goals and requirements – an outcome acknowledged by all involved. The initiative helped to improve learner attendance, created a break from formal learning and provided an opportunity to develop skills outside the curriculum. It also prepared learners to embark on further training for a career in the motor trade industry.