A permanent base for Ardee YouthReach has been identified and will be put forward to the Louth Meath Education & Training Board and the Department of Education for approval.
Currently, the Ardee YouthReach programme is being run out of Ardee St Marys clubhouse after initial attempts to secure a town centre premises for the programme proved unsuccessful.
The Department of Education confirmed in May of last year that the YouthReach programme was being extended to Ardee and the Mid-Louth area but it wasn’t until June 2017 that the programme began with their first group of students. That was in their temporary home at Ardee St Marys. While the programme, under co-ordinator Stephen McArdle remain there for now, it’s hoped a more permanent solution will soon be available.
On Wednesday this week, members of the LMETB visited Ardee to scout possible recommendations for the new location.
“A sub-committee was set up in July at the LMETB board meeting, to review and make recommendations of properties in the Ardee area,” sub-commitee member and Louth County Councillor Maeve Yore told ThisIsArdee.ie today. “We had productive viewings on Wednesday and a submission will go forward now to the Department of Education, seeking approval for it. It has to be approved by the LMETB board as well. ”
“I’m confident that we have the right place and I’m confident that Ardee YouthReach will achieve their permanent residence. They can cater for 10 people currently but we hope they can cater for 20 young people by 2018,” she continued.
Seven shortlisted properties were viewed during the midweek visit and and the sub-committee were able to decide on one location, which was then put forward for consideration by the bodies.
“Stephen McArdle was with us as well and he knew what they were looking for,” Cllr Yore said. “He was happy enough with the choice. I feel it is a positive development at last, I know, it might be 2018, but it is positive for the young people of the area.”
The LMETB don’t expect any further major delays in moving forward and bringing the YouthReach service to a more temporary home. It is hoped it will be a matter of months before the programme was move to a more permanent base.
YouthReach offers QQI General Learning courses at NFQ Levels 2, 3 & 4 as well as support in literacy & numeracy and also preparation for employment or further education.
Among the subjects on offer at the moment are Communications, Customer Service, Art, ICT, Maths, Career Preparation, Workplace Safety and Personal Effectiveness. Learners must be between the ages of 15 and 20 and have left education and training with qualifications at less than Level 4 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
If you are between the ages of 15 and 20, have left mainstream school early and want to further your education and embrace new, challenging opportunities, Ardee YouthReach want to hear from you.
You can call co-ordinator Stephen McArdle on 086 8222 700 or e-mail him on [email protected] Alternatively, you can check them out on Facebook or on Twitter.