Our young apprentices fly to Russia for world competition
A team of young craftspeople and apprentices donned the green jersey last night as they departed for Russia to fly the Irish flag at the WorldSkills Competition.
The competition is billed as the 'Olympics of apprenticeships' and other skilled trades in which the team of 17 under-25s from across Ireland will compete with their counterparts from across the globe.
The event, running from August 22 to 27, sees the Irish team showcasing their skills in such diverse fields as aircraft maintenance, cloud computing, brick-laying, cookery and plumbing.
All of the competitors were selected from a pool of winners from the National Skills Competition finals held back in March.
Education Minister Joe McHugh said: "The Irish team is made up of some of the finest young men and women working in crafts, all of whom are great ambassadors for apprenticeships and traineeships. I know they will do themselves, their families and the country proud."
Ray English, chair of the WorldSkills Ireland Council, said: "It is a remarkable achievement to represent your country in the WorldSkills Competition. The hard work and commitment shown by the Irish team in their preparation for the competition is admirable and their development ever since their success in the National Skills Competition is very evident.
"I would like to acknowledge all those who have supported the team in getting this far including family, friends, employers, instructors and coaches.
"I wish the team the very best as they compete against their international peers on a world stage."
Meanwhile, Technological University Dublin has announced it has 120 free places for adults who have been out of the educational loop for an extended time - such as early school-leavers - to take part in its preparatory higher education programme leading to a third-level qualification.
The TU Dublin Access Foundation programme prepares mature students to take part in undergraduate programmes in a number of disciplines at its campuses in Dublin.
The programme is a full-time commitment with approximately 22 hours of class time per week and a further 20 hours of independent study.