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NLN changed my story

Before joining National Learning Network Michael had lost direction, he had no routine and too much free time – which put him in low mood.  However, since joining National Learning Network in Castlerea, all that has changed.

Michael came to NLN, Castlerea in 2017 and is now nearing completion of his 18 month training course which is called Transitions.  This course supports people to sample a range of workplace settings and gives people the training, knowledge and confidence they need to get a job, go on to further training, or to explore their options in their community.

One of the main attractions of the course for Michael was the work placements he completed.  Michael says that being given this opportunity has allowed him to “get back into the workforce, meet new people and learn new skills”.  Michael completed four placements that he chose himself which were MACE Castlerea, Cooney’s Hardware Castlerea, Fleming’s Garage Castlerea and Supervalu Castlerea.  “I have just finished my placement in Supervalu, Castlerea, which I really enjoyed” Michael said.

“ I have learned a lot during my time at National Learning Network, I have completed my Level 3 Certificates and am now completing Level 4. I am really proud of what I have achieved; I would recommend this course to anyone”.

Prior to joining NLN Michael had been out of education for some time and felt his reading and writing skills weren’t great.  However, he now feels that these skills have really improved.

The training at NLN is designed for each learner and they are supported by a range of staff including course tutors and a resource teacher on an individualised training plan which suits their own specific needs and goals.

Transitions is just one of the FREE training courses on offer with NLN Castlerea. Others include Employer-Based Training, FreshStart and IT by Blended Learning. Students on these courses have the opportunity to study QQI Levels 3 to 5 in a range of settings including home based learning. The centre also offers ECDL and Major Awards equivalent to the Junior and Leaving Certificate. There is also free transport from some towns in the surrounding areas.

Michael feels that the improvement in his skills has given him a huge boost in his confidence which he never had before.   “At our last award’s ceremony I went up and read a speech in front of a large crowd, this is something I never would have had the courage to do before.  Also, I am now able to apply for jobs for myself, have much better computer skills and am much happier in myself.  I have also joined the local Men’s Shed group which is a great idea to get out and meet new people and get involved in the community”.

Michael concludes by saying he would really recommend the Transitions Course and NLN, Castlerea to other people, especially people who find learning difficult or who have been out of training for some time.  “I have received so much support from all the staff in achieving my goals,” he said.

If you are interested in changing your story, why not contact National Learning Network, Castlerea on 09496 20374 or email castlerea@National Learning Network.