Graduation for Members of the Traveller Community

On Thursday 17th November, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Mary Ellen Campbell presented members of the Traveller community with qualifications attained through Bryson An Munia Tober programmes at a special graduation event at Conway Mill.

Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Ellen Campbell presented a number of awards highlighting the breadth of skills and qualifications on offer including Numeracy, Health and Social Care, Employability and Driving Theory Test. She commented, “We need to change the support we offer to enable young people to access skills and employment. The traditional educational model doesn’t work for everyone. I am pleased to see fewer obstacles preventing members of the Traveller community accessing education and employment opportunities and I know this will have a positive effect on communities.”  

Bryson An Munia Tober work in partnership with local training providers as well as offering  a range of bespoke courses to support the Traveller community to access employment.

Helen Brown, 17 years old, left school when she was at primary school level and thought this would be the end of her learning. A few years ago, Susan Strang, Education & Training Officer told Helen about some of the opportunities on offer at Bryson An Munia Tober. 

Helen enrolled on a Beauty Therapy and has never looked back. “As soon as I started the course, I just loved it. I thought it might be hard to go back to learning but I took to it straight away. I felt very comfortable and the teachers were very approachable.  It’s been great to meet people from all different communities and I love talking to people while doing their nails. I enjoy doing something I love instead of staying at home all the time and my family are very proud of me.  After a few months of training, I found a placement and they’ve since offered me a job. I am so happy to get my level one award today and I’m already working on my level two. My plan is to keep working while doing my levels three and four and one day I hope to open my own salon.”

Susan Strang commented, “It is really important to recognise the achievements of everyone who has received an award today. There are too many misconceptions that Travellers don’t get an education or qualifications and they do. That is why we are here today.” 

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