By Tricia Purcell
Minister for Training and Skills Ciarán Cannon was at Coláiste Éile, Thurles to officially open the newly refurbished college of further education on Tuesday last.
Minister Cannon also presented Coláiste Éile students with their VTOS Fetac, ECDL and BTEI Fetac certificates.
The VEC funded college was open for business 19 years ago but has long been looking for a more permanent location and thanks to Pat and John Stakelum, of Stakelum’s Hardware Ltd who owns the new building, a first class facility in partnership with North Tipperary VEC was delivered.
Minister Cannon congratulated the VEC on their achievements with the newly refurbished college and said: “It is great to see the wide range of full-time and part-time courses offered here. It is essential to upskill and reskill the currently unemployed and I am a great believer in life-long learning. It is important for us to respond to the needs of learners and job seekers as well as enterprise and business.”
The minister also mentioned that he, along with Minister Quinn, hope to have their SOLAS Action Plan legislation put into effect by the end of the year, which will reduce the 33 VECs around the country down to 16 education and training boards.
Mr Cannon told the audience how he is still continuing to educate himself as he is learning Chinese at the moment to enhance his own skills and serve the country better.
Also in attendance was Mayor Michael Cleary, who said: “This is a great facility and has been long overdue. The VEC has been actively looking for facilities for years.”