County Kildare Leader has allayed fears its training office in Athy will close due to a reallocation of services to Naas.
Concerns were raised locally when it was announced the Leader Partnership no longer required a drop-in facility in Athy on a full time basis, which has led to a reorganisation of operations in Athy, and the removal of three staff members to their premises in Naas.
The Athy office on Woodstock Street is responsible for a number of Leader programmes including Finding your Feet, Career Skills Preperation and the very succesful Athy Men’s Shed, which is now also responsible for starting many more Men’s Sheds.
It also has 700 client attending it’s services.
In a media statement to the Leinster Leader, Pat Leogue with Kildare Leader, stated that the premises in Woodstock Street is not closing.
“Thanks to the local efforts in sourcing funding from HSE and the commitment of the Community and Family Centre board, my understanding is that all of the local groups will continue to have use of the building,” he said.
“I can confirm that in addition to our normal courses – Finding Your Feet, Career Skills. Safe Pass — we will also be introducing other courses. These will include a Youth Employment Project focused on 18 to 25 year olds who are not in education, training or employment, and a pre-enterprise course for unemployed individuals who may wish to consider self employment as an option.”
It acknowleged there may be some concern about the potential impact around the relocation of some staff but he stated their commitment to Athy “is increasing rather than decreasing”.
“The Retail Skills course will continue during 2017 at the training centre on Woodstock Street and we now have up to 60 Tús workers in the Athy area for the next twelve months.
“We are working with DSP and the local residents and voluntary groups to ensure that this concerted employment piece can continue to improve the local environment and build community spirit,” he said, “We are delighted with the response to this initiative so far and the feedback is very positive.”