New Links Training Solutions celebrated 6 years in business last week in the Viking Hotel. The 6th birthday celebrations included an awards ceremony for recent successful students from a variety of courses along with special guest speaker Pauline O’Reilly who is a recent graduate of Waterford Institute of Technology.

Opening the event Jim Tumulty, Company Director welcomed guests, tutors, students and local employers and acknowledged the outstanding achievements of students who would be receiving certificates on the night.   Thanking the many local employers throughout Waterford City and County who displayed their commitments, generosity and support to the trainees, Mr Tumulty confirmed that many have secured fulltime jobs as a result of attending programmes such as the Momentum Skills training programme with New Links Training Solutions.   A second programme rolled out in association with the Waterford Chamber Skillnet has also provided students with a vital stepping stone to fulltime employment.

Janet Tumulty Company Director spoke about the highlights of their 6 years in business – not least conquering the challenge of setting up and running a business through a harsh recession. Speaking to those in attendance, Janet emphasised “the importance of adult and continuing education which creates vital opportunities for clients regardless of their starting point or academic ability at entry level.  Once a learner embarks on a learning journey they immediately open up a network of progression opportunities for themselves – this may be towards employment, training or further education – the journey is different for each and every individual.”   The celebration heralded another milestone as award recipients received the first QQI certificates on the night (replacing the former and well recognised FETAC Certificates).   The new QQI award system is recognised both nationally and internationally offering valuable and well recognised qualifications to adult learners.   Since becoming a Registered FETAC provider in 2009 the business has gone from strength to strength with approximately 40 programmes currently registered with QQI in addition to a suite of non-accredited programmes aimed at specific groups or organisations within the private sector.   Nominated in 2012 for their work in community education by Aontas, the National Adult Learning Organisation, New Links Training Solutions, continues to forge ties within community organisations and education within Waterford City and County.   Over the past 3 years New Links Training Solutions has delivered 9 Momentum Skills programmes in association with SOLAS under the Pathways to work initiative – 192 learners have signed up for this programme to date.

The business now comprises of Jim & Janet Tumulty directors, Susan Hogan training coordinator and a panel of highly qualified trainers.  Currently recruiting an additional part time administrator and a selection of niche trainers, New Links Training Solutions client base has grown in number and region. They currently deliver training to clients in: Waterford, Cork, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, Tipperary, and Kildare & Dublin.

Pauline O’Reilly guest speaker spoke about her learning journey and inspired all those present as she has just completed her studies in Waterford Institute of Technology and will be conferred with an Honours Degree later this year.  Pauline commenced her learning journey by signing up for a part time course with New Links Training Solutions – Pauline’s story highlights the important role of adult education in Ireland.   Janet closed her speech by acknowledging the excellent work carried out by local agencies in promoting and supporting local jobseekers.  Acknowledging that Waterford is a great place to live and work, Janet noted that research indicates that “although the effects of the recession are still evident locally there is reason to believe that an upturn in the economy is imminent with news of future opportunities in local tourism, security, retail and more”.

In his closing address Jim congratulated learners on their successful achievements – QQI certificates were awarded for Tourism, Train the Trainer, Security and Career planning.  Jim encouraged certificate recipients to highlight their achievements to employers or educators to ensure success in everything that they do moving forward.