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Adult Information and Guidance Service pilot ‘Getting Ready for Your Next Steps’
30/01/2013 00:00:00

In December, the Limerick City Adult Education Service Part-Time Information & Guidance Staff piloted an Open Seminar ‘Getting Ready For Your Next Steps’ with UpSkill Learners. This was part of the Information & Guidance plan for UpSkill for this year and was designed to respond to demands from learners for information and knowledge about moving on in learning and work.

Our starting point was to outline that there are key things that people should know about themselves before making decisions or taking action: their Interests, Values, Skills/Abilities and Personality. Really knowing this is essential to choosing education/work that is the right fit – the key is to take the time to explore these properly and to use them as a guide.  We then focused on positively engaging in career planning.

Too often, people allow themselves to be limited by negative beliefs … ‘I’m too stupid’, ‘There are no opportunities’, ‘Education is hard’. In the session, we asked participants to think about their own beliefs, to question whether they are really true and to realise where they might be holding them back. This is the start of developing more positive beliefs. As one learner fed back, ‘Our beliefs affect how we feel about ourselves – what we can achieve.’

Positivity is often seen as an indulgent lifestyle choice. In the session we explained how and why positive emotions help us to be more open, more creative and simply to operate better. Now more than ever, when opportunities and hope seem limited, this is exactly how people need to be to positively take control of their lives.  Giving participants the space to reflect, explaining these concepts clearly and giving concrete techniques meant that participants went away with a more meaningful understanding of positivity and indeed by the end of the session, many already seemed to be embracing this way of thinking and being. As one participant said: ‘Today I am taking away a new attitude, that I can go on and further my education to a higher level, I am now more positive in what I want, I would like to see more information on access courses.’

Based on all the feedback received, this session seems to have been the kick-start needed by many to positively approach planning their next steps … ‘It was very informative and gave me great insight, and after the session finished I found to question my beliefs and my barriers. As a Japanese saying goes “after tragedy comes open opportunity.” ….. my self-awareness is now newly provoked because of your lecture.’

Information was also provided on some of the key adult learning opportunities and there was a definite appetite for more such information. A follow-up session will take place at the end of February which will expand on this.
Hopefully, with follow-on seminars, the support of the Information and Guidance Service and all of you who work at the frontline with learners, this positivity, strength and momentum can be further nurtured and lead to LCAES learners creating the futures they dream of.

The ‘Getting Ready for Your Next Steps’ Seminar will take place in St Mary’s Adult Education Centre, Island Road on February 5th from 12.15-1.15. Please contact Emma Maher on 061-445732 or email to book a place.

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