Figures released by Epilepsy Ireland have revealed the positive impact of their Training For Success (TFS) FETAC pre-employment course since it began 18 years ago, with 85% of graduates finding a job or upskilling after they complete the programme.
Based on campus at the Institute of Technology Sligo, the one year course has had over 250 young people with epilepsy attend since its inception in 1998. TFS is Epilepsy Ireland's flagship training programme and the only course of its kind anywhere in Europe which has welcomed students of all ages from across the country. In 2013 Training for Success won the Aontas STAR National Award for providing "an outstanding contribution to adult education", which greatly enhanced the reputation of the course.
Student progression since 1998
- Higher Education 26.25%
- Employment 21.25%
- Further Education 19%
- Further Training 19%
- Unemployed 6%
- Don't Know 4%
*Stats collated from Epilepsy Ireland Outcome Data 1998 - 2016
Speaking about the programme's success Training For Success Manager, Honor Broderick, said: "We want to achieve a society where no person's life is limited by epilepsy and TFS has proved vital for hundreds of individuals since it began. People with epilepsy often feel cut adrift as it can often affect their education, career and social life. As well as learning about the management of the condition, the course enables students to gain confidence and identify their own personal goals. In developing Training For Success we adopted a holistic approach, which focuses on two main areas: career planning and personal development. Students on the programme have full access to all the Institute's top class facilities and can also enjoy life in one of the most vibrant towns in the west of Ireland."
Mayo native Michela Murphy recently completed TFS and is now looking forward to a brighter future. She said: "In 2013 I had my first seizure and was diagnosed late the same year. When I was told I had epilepsy I didn't know what it was or what happens. Even though I had great support I lacked a great deal of confidence and independence because I felt afraid. Past students of Training for Success whom I know recommended the course and I got in touch straight away.
"The lectures were fantastic; they made you feel equal and not like a student. This helped me to grow and mature because I was no longer a student in the back of a classroom just listening. Now people wanted to hear what I had to say and what ideas I had.
"TFS is something I will look back on very fondly and with a lot of warmth and happiness. With the team I never felt alone or that I wasn't being heard because there is always someone there to listen to you. When I first started the programme I wanted to go on to study Fine Art but I learned I was better off focusing on something else - so I applied for Social Care.
"I think if you're in two minds about doing the Training for Success course, just do it because believe me, you won't regret it."
Entry to TFS is by interview and students are fully registered with the IT Sligo and Intreo. Students are paid a training allowance and where appropriate, an accommodation allowance by MSLETB (Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board).
The course modules include:
- Epilepsy Management,
- Career Planning,
- Information Technology Skills,
- Personal Effectiveness,
- Team Working,
- Understanding Interculturalism,
- Work Place Safety,
- Work Experience,.
The course is starting soon and there are still a limited number of places available for the 2016/17 term. Prospective students must express an interest by August 29th. For more information on Training For Success log onto www.epilepsy.ie or contact Honor on 07191 55303.