Jobs and Training boost for Irish speakers

By February 29, 2012Corporate, Newsroom

The fast growing Irish medium sector is crying out for qualified employees with demand for new staff outstripping supply.

GaelChúrsaí, a new social enterprise, was launched today(February 28, 2012) to fill those vacancies and to provide jobs for the growing number of young people being educated in Irish.

The company is the only training and employment provider geared solely to preparing young people to fill the increasing demand for jobs requiring Irish speakers.

Jobs include teachers, administrators, childcare workers, IT technicians and business support staff who are completely fluent in the Irish language.

Colma McKee, Director of GaelChúrsaí said: “Despite the current difficult economic conditions, the Irish language sector is continuing to grow and we are seeing a very high success rate in finding employment for our trainees.

“Indeed, because of the sector’s rapid growth, employers are finding it difficult filling Irish speaking jobs. It is our role to provide a skilled and motivated labour force to meet demand and maintain the sector’s development.”

It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 15,000 children being educated in Irish in the North, more than three times the current total of nearly 5,000, which will mean a proportionate rise in jobs to support the sector.

GaelChúrsaí is currently training more than 100 young people, many of whom attended the North’s only Irish medium secondary school Coláiste Feirste, to place them with local employers requiring Irish speakers.

Attending the launch at An Culturlann in West Belfast, Education Minister, John O’Dowd, stressed the importance of GaelChúrsaí’s role in training young Irish speakers.

Minister O’Dowd said: “We have seen the rapid growth of the Irish medium education sector in the north in recent years. It is therefore vitally important that our Irish speakers are well prepared for employment, ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary skills required to venture out into the world of work. I believe that GaelChúrsaí can make an important contribution in making this happen and wish them every success in the future.”

Belfast Mayor, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile, commended GaelChúrsaí for showing initiative in difficult economic times. “Job creation is an important issue and this project is a great example of positive response to demand in the marketplace,” he said.

GaelChúrsaí is an accredited training provider, which delivers training for young people as part of programmes through the Department of Employment and Learning and the Department of Education. It is a new start social enterprise participating in the Invest NI Social Entrepreneurship Programme.

Its role is to provide training that will meet the specific economic needs of the Irish medium sector. It currently specialises in childcare, administration, media and IT.

The company is a recognised deliverer of qualifications for all of the main awarding bodies and it works closely with those bodies in investigating and developing Irish medium provision. Courses must meet three main principles: the skills must be needed by the sector; an Irish speaker is qualified to deliver the course; it must be something that the young people are interested in doing.

For further information, contact GaelChúrsaí on 02890438771 or email