Minister for Lifelong Learning Sean Haughey today opened a new Vocational Training Opportunities (VTOS) centre in Carlow town.
Carlow’s new facility is the latest addition to the nationwide network of VTOS centres.
It will cater for 40 participants in addition to the 35 VTOS participants already catered for in Carlow VEC’s Post-Leaving Certificate programme.
Speaking at the opening, Minister Haughey said: "This new centre will be of enormous benefit to the local community and will offer learners the opportunity to achieve accreditation at Levels 3, 4 and 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications and also to complete their Junior and Leaving Certificates.
"These are difficult and ever changing economic times for us all and significant pressure is being placed on us in budgetary terms.
"By providing participants with the kinds of courses they need to enhance their employment opportunities while at the same time building on their key skills and core competencies, VTOS is responding to the challenge posed by the global financial crisis."
VTOS was the first full-time further education programme for adults.
From humble beginnings with just 247 participants in 1989, VTOS now caters for over 5,000 adult learners in over 100 centres nationwide.