Newry woman takes County title at Essential Skills 2014 awards | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Newry woman takes County title at Essential Skills 2014 awards

Alison Rodgers a student at Southern Regional College (SRC), Newry, has taken the County Down Essential Skills 2014 Learner of the Year title at the annual awards ceremony, held in the Dunadry Hotel, County Antrim.

Newry woman Alison first enrolled in a community class organised by St Malachys Primary School and SRC Newry Campus in 2011 to enable parents to help children with homework.

Although initially terrified about attending class due to a previous dyslexia diagnosis, Alison perservered throughout her studies and successfully achieved Level 1 Numeracy in 2011/12 progressing to achievement of Level 2 Literacy to achievement of Level 2 Literacy & Numeracy in 2013.

An application to University was something Alison never envisaged when starting her learning journey, but her courage and fortitude has paid off as she has now applied to study a Foundation Degree in Art and Design at the University of Ulster.

Speaking to Newry Times about her Essential Skills achievements, Alison said, “My childhood dream of becoming an artist is becoming a reality. I am now confident helping my children with their homework, they are all interested more in education as they see me attending and working hard at my courses, this is helping them to reach their goals.

She added, “Having gained so much from my experience with literacy and numeracy training, and hopefully after my university course, I will be the first in my family to attend university – something I never thought would have been possible three years ago.”

Congratulating all the winners Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said, “The success stories of today’s winners serve as an inspiration to anyone wishing to improve their Essential Skills as a way to open up new opportunities, whether at work or in everyday life.

“To date, over 109,000 people have achieved almost 208,000 Essential Skills qualifications in literacy, numeracy and ICT since the Strategy was launched in 2002.

“These figures clearly demonstrate the growing recognition of the importance of Essential Skills to the lives of individuals, businesses and the wider economy and not only are these vital for economic growth but benefit personal progression.

Farry added, “My Department’s free Essential Skills classes which are delivered by local Further Education colleges and training organisations, offer a second chance for people to fulfil their potential with a suite of qualifications in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT. Essential skills provision is helping to enhance the workplace.”

This is the seventh year of the Essential Skills Awards which are designed to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement in literacy, numeracy and ICT.

Essentials Skills courses are free and delivered through Further Education Colleges and training organisations throughout Northern Ireland. Visit for further information on Essential Skills courses.

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Posted by on Apr 10 2014. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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