18 February 2018
By Bryan Smyth
The past few weeks have brought an abundance of weather warnings and cold snaps, but in spite of such inclement conditions causing disruptions at every turn, the students of Cork Education and Training Board’s (CETB) numerous schools and facilities have remained hard at work in the lead up to the Student Showcase & 2017–2021 Strategy Launch. Today, among the beautiful surrounds of the Crawford Art Gallery on Emmet Place students and learners alike shared their knowledge and experiences.
This momentous occasion served to showcase a wide variety of projects and artworks put forward by students of CETB’s various educational programmes and institutions, while entertainment was provided throughout by pupils of the CETB School of Music. Through the various displays and guest speakers, the public were offered an in-depth look into the work carried out by Cork ETB, who are proud to reveal the fruits of their labour to date and divulge what their 2017-2021 strategic plan will entail. CETB view this event – which is a collaborative project with their schools, colleges, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and other stakeholders – as a unique opportunity to reinforce their commitment to providing the best quality education service to Cork city and county.
Cork ETB is responsible for 24 post-primary schools and colleges, including four stand-alone colleges: Cork College of Commerce, St John’s College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and Mallow College of Further Education. The organisation also operates two highly-proficient training centres – the Cork Training Centre in Bishopstown, which is the largest ETB centre of its kind in the country, and the Carrigaline BioPharma training facility, which was established in 2007 and provides specialist programmes designed in conjunction with the pharmaceutical companies located in the Cork region in order to ensure that training programme development and delivery are designed to meet existing and emerging employee requirements. CETB is also hugely active in and dedicated to the area of Adult and Community Education, which their broad service encompassing the Adult Literary Service, Community Education Service, Skills for Work, BTEI and VTOS programmes.
The steadfast vision of Cork ETB is – and always has been – to provide a pathway for each and every learner, regardless of age, ability or background, and to act as a driving force of education and training in Cork, offering high-quality services which are innovative, responsive and inclusive. The organisation continues to ensure that their vision is realised by sticking to the mantra of a very clearly-defined mission: to plan, provide, support and coordinate education, training and youth services in Cork, which are recognised internationally as a model of excellence. While their track record is undoubtedly an impressive one, CETB refuse to rest on their laurels and have been busy compiling a five-year strategy, which they feel will allow them to continue their legacy of success and dedication to education in Cork. The core, underlying values and principles of this strategic plan were explored this evening by Principals and stakeholders, while the students present showcased their works as proof of Cork ETB’s positive and lasting influence on the city and county.
The evening’s host and keynote speaker, Suzanne Mullins, Director of Organisation, Support & Development with Cork Education and Training Board, expressed her excitement at being so heavily involved in such an enlightening event, saying: “I’m so delighted to be speaking on behalf of CETB during such an important event, because I feel it showcases a culmination of unwavering commitment, dedication and hard work on behalf of Cork Education and Training Board and our many teachers, students and participants. Our goal has always been to provide a positive learning experience for every learner, with no underlying aim or agenda. Prioritising the needs of learners, delivering a high-quality service and treating people with dignity and respect have always been among our guiding principles and I feel that our new five-year plan enforces these standards.”
Ted Owens, Chief Executive of CETB, was equally enthused about what Strategy Statement means for Cork as a whole, “While we are obviously thrilled to offer a rare glimpse at the incredible work of our students across the board, it is also exciting for us to share our plans for the future of education in our thriving city and county,” he said. “Over the years, our many facilities have produced highly-skilled and trained individuals who use their experience with CETB as a stepping-stone to a successful career and in the process, invest themselves, their knowledge and their time into the prosperity and development of Cork. Our Strategy Statement 2017-2021 is the product of much blood, sweat and tears, but now that it is has been launched I am eager and excited to see how it continues and maintains CETB’s legacy over the next five years.”
For more information on Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), and the learning institutions under their umbrella visitwww.corketb.ie,or follow them on FacebookCorkEducationandTrainingBoard or on Twitter @CorkETB.