‘Training for Success’

A course unique in Europe delivered at IT Sligo in partnership with Brainwave, the Irish Epilepsy Association, is in the running for a national adult learning honour.

Training for Success, a year-round programme that tackles employment and educational needs among young people with epilepsy, has been shortlisted for a prestigious STAR Award. STAR Awards recognise invaluable collaborative work undertaken by adult learning initiatives in across the Republic.

 “It’s a marvellous vote of confidence even to get to the final stage,” says Honor Broderick, Brainwave’s Course Manager at IT Sligo. “Training for Success is a programme that has made an enormous difference to many people.”

The course is the only one of its kind in Europe in which a third level college and a voluntary organisation have linked up to address exclusively difficulties that people with epilepsy face.

As well as creative and academic topics, the programme provides a tailored individual focus on career choices, educational and employment goals, identification of up skilling needs, and the nature and management of epilepsy.

“It could be described as a ‘add on’ programme to help a person get their first job or to get back into employment or education which they may have had to leave because of their epilepsy. An example would be a person who is no longer able to drive because of the type of seizures they experience. They may have to look at a career change if driving is essential for their employment,” Honor says.

“A big issue with epilepsy is self-confidence because the condition is so unpredictable; a person doesn’t know when they might have a seizure and this can affect their self-esteem.  For this reason confidence building is an important part of the component that deals with the nature and management of epilepsy.”

The programme leads to a FETAC Level 4 Major Award in Employment Skills.  “We have had real success with the programme,” Honor says. “In the period 1998 to 2012, of the 180 students, approximately, who took the course, 23% went on to higher education, 18% went into further education, 18 % into employment and 18 % into further training.”

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