President Mary McAleese Opens New Mandate Training Centre

Tuesday 22 September 2009

30 union members graduate with FETAC awards

President Mary McAleese today (Monday, 21 September 2009) officially opened the new Mandate Trade Union Organising and Training Centre on Distillery Road, Dublin 3. The training centre is a major investment for Mandate which is the third largest trade union in the country representing over 45,000 workers in the retail and bar trade sector. At the opening ceremony 30 workers received FETAC awards for their successful completion of courses provided by Mandate and FAS.
The training centre has state of the art facilities including three training rooms, 20 interconnected computers, a canteen and a fully interactive whiteboard. It also has offices for staff members. The training centre enables Mandate to provide high quality training and learning that is accessible to learners in a manner that meets the learner’s needs.
Mandate became a FETAC accredited centre in December 2008 and to date over 700 members have participated in training courses, many of which may lead to accreditation and certification. Members can take part in a wide range of FETAC courses from Level 3 up to the FETAC level 5 in Trade Union Studies and Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Management. The union also offers courses in communications, shop steward training, computers and equality training. It is hoped that at least 500 members will participate in courses provided by the training centre every year.
Aileen Morrissey, National Coordinator for Training at Mandate said, “Mandate has committed itself to prioritising the education and training of our members. Many of our members would be workers with very little opportunity for further education and some would be early school leavers. The investment in the training centre by Mandate is a huge commitment to our members in terms of helping them to reach their full potential in their personal lives and in their careers.”
Today Mandate members received FETAC awards for participating in a FETAC Level 5 course in Communications and a FETAC Level 6 Train the Trainer course. These graduates are all members who had returned to education as a direct result of the provision of the courses by Mandate and FAS. Mandate feels that the investment from FAS in these training initiatives is even more important in the current economic environment.
Ms Morrissey said, “While FAS is sometimes seen as a body which is solely there to create jobs in the economy, they also have a very worthwhile function in training and up-skilling workers in Ireland. It is vital that in these tough economic times, when investment in combating unemployment is obviously important, FAS ensures that these education courses continue with an investment in workers in the workplace. This is essential if we are to reach our stated target of becoming a knowledge economy.”
One of the participants on the communication stated, “I have more respect for the Union and for myself, and I am getting more respect from Management because of the way I have changed. I feel I have more authority and confidence when I’m dealing with them, and I’m always better prepared.”
The event was attended and supported by David Begg from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Alan O’Kelly of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), Stan McHugh Chief Executive of FETAC and Denis Rowan, Director in FAS.