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Limerick Clare ETB takes to the stage at annual education conference



Limerick Clare ETB takes to the stage at annual education conference. Pictured at the Education and Training Board Further Education and Training Conference 2024, in Athlone Springs, were Paul Patton, Director Further Education and Training Limerick Clare ETB, delegates from Limerick Clare Education and Training Board.

Paul Patton, Director of Further Education and Training at Limerick Clare ETB was a featured speaker at annual education conference

Limerick Clare ETB annual conference
Pictured are Sadie Ward McDermott Director, Further Education and Training Louth Meath Education and Training Board, Paul Patton of Further Education and Training Limerick Clare Education and Training Board.

Paul Patton, Director of Further Education and Training at Limerick Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) was a featured speaker at this year’s Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) Further Education and Training conference which welcomed 250 delegates from across Ireland to Athlone last week.

The title for this year’s conference ‘Pathways – Pathways to FET, Pathways in FET, Pathways from FET’.

Mr. Patton spoke on a panel about inclusion, learner support and the promotion of mental health and well-being in FET centres. The event brought together over 250 representatives from across the sector and featured a line-up of over 30 speakers. Simon Harris, Minister of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, addressed the conference on Thursday (22.02.24), giving the official Ministerial conference address.




Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Harris said, “Over recent years we have worked incredibly hard to ensure no one is left behind when it comes to education. No matter who you are, what your background is or what your interests are you get an opportunity to reach your full potential. This conference is a timely opportunity. The impact ETBs have had on the learners but also on the wider communities they serve has been transformative. This two-day event is an invaluable opportunity to come together to learn from each other, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead”.

Commenting on the future of education, General Secretary of ETBI, Paddy Lavelle said, “The FET Strategy – Future FET Transforming Learning, acknowledges the key role of FET in driving both economic development and social cohesion. This roadmap for the sector is built around three core pillars of building skills; fostering inclusion; and facilitating pathways. This conference deals with one of those three Pillars – pathways.”

Dr. Joseph Collins, Director of Further Education and Training (FET) at ETBI, said, “We can see clearly that Minister Harris has made significant inroads in developing an integrated, coherent and well-articulated further and higher education system in which there are no dead ends for learners. We have pathways from school to FET, within FET, between further and higher education, pathways into work and lifelong pathways which can bring people back to learning at any stage of their career or life.” 

The conference took place over two days, with a full line-up of keynote speakers and panel discussions. Some of the highlights from the agenda include inputs from Dr. Justin Rami, Director of the Further Education and Training Research Centre at Dublin City University; David Jones, Chair of the International Panel at the Transformation Office in DFHERIS; Sonya Lennon, designer, broadcaster, campaigner and a former FET learner; and David Delaney, author and motivational speaker, from University College Dublin.

Find out more about Limerick Clare ETB
Read more stories about Limerick Clare ETB

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.