More than 180 staff at Foyle Food Group Donegal recently received Level 3 QQI Qualification Certificates from Donegal ETB in recognition of prior learning in the workplace (RPL). Some members of staff also pushed forward and received their Level 4 Health & Safety Certificate as well.

“I would like to congratulate all employees at Foyle Donegal for this tremendous achievement and commend the partnership between Foyle Donegal and Donegal ETB. This is a real testament to each employee for their commitment and dedication and a special thanks must also go to our HR Manager Barbara King for striving for employee development”, said Malachy McAteer, Operations Director of Foyle Food Group who presented the awards on the day.

Martina Needham, Donegal ETB Coordinator; met with Barbara King, Foyle Donegal HR Manager last year to discuss the potential of a joint up partnership with the intention of providing staff with the recognition and qualifications they deserve through their continuous learning. Since a number of staff had already received a wide range of skills and knowledge through in house training and hands on experience it soon became apart the wealth of knowledge these employees had and therefore it would be better to devise a strategy to link this learning with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Donegal ETB’s Director of FET, Cróna Gallagher stated, “Donegal ETB’s FET Service acknowledges that learning takes places in a range of environments such as the classroom, the workplace and the community and that skills, knowledge and competencies are achieved through formal, non-formal and informal experiences and learning. Acknowledging this has led to the recognition that many learners have skills, knowledge and competences that have not been formally validated against the standards outlined on the National Framework of Qualifications. I am pleased to see that the introduction of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has enabled Donegal ETB’s FET Service to support employers in the county to upskill their employees.”

Qualifications and Quality Ireland (QQI)’s representative Andrina Wafer was also on hand to present the awards and offer words of wisdom to Foyle Donegal employees. She spoke about the success of the collaboration between Foyle Food Group and Donegal ETB and said that Donegal ETB has led the way in Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning in both Ireland and within the European Union. She congratulated all 188 employees on their fantastic achievement and encouraged them to keep developing their skills and striving for excellence so that they might acquire new abilities and therefore work their way up the ladder of success.