Craft Skills with Waterford VTOS

The Waterford Local Enterprise Office Nurturing a New Generation of Craft Skills with Waterford VTOS, WWETB.


The Waterford Local Enterprise Office has a long partnership with Waterford VTOS in nurturing the skills and talents of adult learners in the QQI Level 5 Art, Craft & Design course.  Under the "First Flight Initiative", the Local Enterprise Office has provided workshop settings in the Kite Design Centre for Craft students to design and create bespoke creations.  This summer, Janine Kelly and Carmel Di Fenza were selected for the placements which gave them the opportunity to design, showcase and sell their own jewellery. Both Janine and Carmel specialise in creating original jewellery designs from copper, beading, glass and enamelled metal, taking their inspiration from nature and art.  Under the brand name "Aliandi Designs", Janine specialises in making ecological friendly jewellery from recycled copper and sea glass picked from the beaches in Dunmore East. Carmel DI Fenza designs under her own name and her jewellery is inspired by geometry and strong primary colours.  Jeweller-making is one of the skills taught by the Waterford VTOS, QQI Level 5 Art, Craft and Design course with a focus on equipping graduates with the skills to create craft and design pieces in a small workshop setting. Graduates of the course then have the option of developing their craft skills further by going on to college or setting up their own craft enterprise.

Both Janine and Carmel are delighted with the sponsorship provided to them by the Waterford Local Enterprise Office.  "It was an invaluable experience. I have learnt so much and my confidence has grown" said Janine.  Carmel also added that "It was a great opportunity to develop our skills, to meet customers and to learn how to sell. Working side by side with the Irish Handmade Glass was brilliant, since they were always on hand to give advice to us.

Helena Finlay, VTOS Co-ordinater, praised the invaluable assistance of the Waterford Local Enterprise Office in developing and encouraging students to look as enterprise as a career pathway. "The Waterford Local Enterprise Office has supported so many of our graduates in setting up their own businesses.  Majella Kervick, a former student placement, went on to set up her own jewellery design business "Mise by Majella" and her jewellery designs are now stocked in the Kite Design Centre.  There is so much talent in Waterford and it is great to have the support of the Local Enterprise Office in supporting and developing talent."