Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

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West Regional Skills Award Nominees 2022

16 December 2022 

West Regional Skills Award Nominees 2022

Our wonderful shortlisted nominees were:

  • Anne Marie Egan from GRETB (Galway Roscommon Education Training Board) and Geraldine O Haire - MSLETB (Mayo Sligo, Leitrim Education Training Board)

Anne Maria took on roll-out of the EXPLORE programme with gusto, very quickly running it independently. She expanded the programme to Roscommon for the first time, and made efforts to have an Irish-language version available. Almost 40 people with minimal digital skills, in floor-level roles at multiple companies, who might not have upskilled in a long time, transformed into confident learners capable of navigating the digital world.

Similarly Geraldine’s watch, over close to 50 learners, mainly from small companies, across Mayo have benefitted from the EXPLORE programme.

  • Declan Molloy of  Molloy's bakery

Declan leads a small bakery in Roscommon town, but his impact has reached much wider across the region.
Declan’s ongoing efforts have secured a program to promote, develop and upskill a new generation in the baking industry.
As a result of this, over ten bakeries in Galway and Roscommon have come together to develop a level 5 bakery traineeship which is planned for launch in 2023.
Declan has worked tirelessly over the years to promote training and self-development for staff and management

  • Donal Murphy - Intuity and Kathrin Koedderitz, Globalization Partners

Kathrin and Donal led the Sales Professionals Network for almost two years from March 2021 to Nov 2022. They brought energy and enthusiasm to their roles as industry co-chairs, and helped the group continue to make impact while navigating continued lockdowns and re-openings under C19. Their introduction of the annual beach meeting event for the SPN  is of particular note

  • Ivan McPhillips - Atlantic Technological University

Ivan is a relentless advocate for up skilling, having set up and ran a pro bono level 6 management programme for individuals made redundant following the financial crash.
Heavily involved in the local community Ivan in his role with St Columbus Credit Union, Mervue, promoted the set up of a local Enterprise Centre to deliver office space, training and mentoring to budding entrepreneurs.
Ivan is an unsung hero in the field of entrepreneurship and the need for continuous upskilling.

  • Sharon Gill - Telegael

  • Translation and Interpreting Unit - University of Galway

  • Maria Griffin - Gréasan na Meán Skillnet

Sharon realised that there was a gap in subtitling training in Ireland, with no university accredited course available for people with language skills seeking to enter the sector. This was impacting heavily on the ability of local production companies to grow their businesses when competing for contracts, and impacting the quality of experience for those watching television and multimedia services including those with hearing difficulties.
She took the initiative to develop from scratch a subtitling programme to train participants in aspects of translation for the screen—including interlingual subtitling, spoken subtitling, live subtitling, script translation for television, audio commentary, access services for conferences.
She also made company staff available to teach, ensuring the participants get real industry exposure.

The Post Graduate Certificate (in Audio Visual Translation) now enables Irish speakers to provide subtitling and services to the highest level, in Irish and in other languages.
The Translation and Interpreting Unit of Univeristy of Galway run the programme, and funding was provided by Gréasan na Meán Skillnet for the development and for student fees.

  • Sales Apprenticeship Consortium- MSLETB

The Sales Apprenticeship Consortium consists of an exceptional cohort of academic and business leaders who over the past 3 years collaborated to develop a new sales apprenticeship. Ireland lacked an accredited entry pathway into sales, while SMEs and large companies alike each had their own informal and formal training programmes -or often no programme at all. The sales apprenticeship began as recognition of a local problem and elevated the solution to a national scale.

The key objective was to design an innovative skills-based programme which would develop the knowledge, skills and competencies in the future leaders of the sales industry. Interest from industry has been exceptional with multiple intakes oversubscribed. The first graduates will complete the course in 2023, and pathways for progression are being mapped out.

  • Medtech Reg & Quality Upskilling Team - University of Galway/Atlantic University Sligo

The joint University of Galway/ATU Sligo MSc in Medtech Regulatory Affairs is contributing to the skills in the region in terms of Medtech RA, Quality and Operations.
The course was designed with industry in response to a skills shortage identified by industry in relation to RA.
There are also three associated Cert/H. Diploma programs which have resulted in over 200 RA qualified personnel. Nearly 100 graduates from 6 cohorts have upskilled since the course/partnership launch in 2015.

  • Paul O’ Donnell - An Mheitheal Rothar

An Mheitheal Rothar came about after a good idea was pursued with determination. In September 2010 the University of Galway Ecology Society was having one of its first meeting of the college year, the simple question ‘what fun initiatives could we pursue in the coming year which would have a positive impact for the local environment?’ was asked.
One of the ideas suggested was to establish an autonomous space where students could come and repair their bicycles in an environment which encouraged peer to peer learning, civic and environmental responsibility and empowered people in their own abilities. By 2012 An
Mheitheal Rothar became a reality.
Since their official launch, An Mheitheal Rothar has engaged extensively with their community, running the 'Youth in Action Project' in 2013, and working with the Youth Advocate Programme (YAP), Galway Community Circus, Street Feast Galway, the GRETB (Galway – Roscommon Education and Training Board), the NUI Galway University of Sanctuary Program and more. After a period of rapid growth from 2018 onwards, An Mheitheal Rothar now includes their bike shop, in which you can get your bike repaired or purchase a recycled bike, and DIY workshops, in which you can learn how to repair your own bike. They also run an award-winning circular economy initiative called ReCycle Your Cycle. More recently they have collaborated with GRETB to create a bike mechanic training centre and hold courses such as the Local Training Initiative in Cycle Mechanics, for people who are unemployed.