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

Waterford VTOS has a long partnership with the Waterford Local Enterprise Office in nurturing the skills and talents of adult learners especially in the Craft and Fashion Design programmes. Beginning with the “First Flight Initiative” a number of years back, the Local Enterprise Office has provided workshop settings in the Kite Design Centre for Craft and Fashion Design students to design and create their bespoke creations. The Local Enterprise Office has once again sponsored Waterford VTOS Craft students, Jennifer Wade and Rebecca Briscoe, on placements in the Kite Design Centre, providing them with a workshop environment to design, showcase and sell their jewellery. Bespoke jewellery is created from copper, beading, glass and enamelled metal, taking inspiration from nature and art. The skills of crafting jewellery from glass, metal and enamel are taught in Waterford VTOS, Durands Court as part of the QQI Level 5, Art, Craft and Design course. Cormac Leane, Craft Course Tutor, states that the focus of the Art, Craft and Design course is to equip students 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.

Kite Design

Both Jennifer and Rebecca are delighted with the sponsorship provided to them by the Waterford Local Enterprise with the Kite Design Centre. “It was an invaluable experience. I have learnt so much and my confidence has grown” said Rebecca. Jennifer 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-ordinate, 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.   This autumn, the Waterford Local Enterprise Office, will be supporting enterprise workshops for our learners. 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.”      

For more information Waterford VTOS, phone Fintan or Helena at 051 852803 or see our website and Facebook page WAEC VTOS.