Oct
29
2014
0

25 years and counting

1989 seems life a life-time away, it was the year Samuel Beckett died, Fair City came on the air and the Irish film My Left Foot won a number of Academy Awards.  It was also the year Lily Collison set up a new training company called “Shannon Quality Training” focused solely on the delivery of just one course, ISO 9000 Lead Auditor Training.

In November 1989 the very first SQT public training course was held in The Dromineer Bay Hotel, Nenagh and this is what the first booking system looked like…

sqt_booking

Delegate No 3 was me.  Early SQT customers included Kostal, EI Shannon, Irish Cement, Pfizer, Alps Electric, Apple and Dairygold Co-op and I’m delighted to say that all are still valued customers 25 years on.

Obviously very few companies can exist on one product alone so over the years, many more expert tutors from industry have come on board, helping SQT to expand into lots of new areas of learning.

In 2001 Shannon Quality Training officially became SQT Training Ltd and towards the end of that year, I packed my bags as Operations Manager in Dell and proudly joined the SQT team as Managing Director.   Since then the team has grown to 35 very talented and hard-working tutors, all supported by 9 wonderfully dedicated office staff with lots of computerised booking systems.  To date we have trained in excess of 50,000 people from  small to medium companies to large multinationals both here and abroad.  This year so far we have trained in 22 counties in Ireland as well Denmark, UK, Isle of Man, Libya, Spain and USA.

The world of training has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. When SQT started out the overhead projector was in vogue and not a smart phone in sight – now every delegate has at least one device in their pocket with access to vast amounts of free information at the touch of a button.  Back in 1989 the internet was still in its infancy; Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and online learning were not even early concepts.  25 years on the training choices and learning mediums  available to people are truly vast.

However when you really think about it, SQTs’ challenge today is no different to that faced 25 years ago.  As professional trainers our job is still to help you understand the important stuff from the vast amounts of information out there, it’s about making learning real, it’s about engaging with you in a very practical way and empowering you with knowledge and skills to make a difference.

The overhead projector is long gone but we still have highly experience, industry experts delivering up-to-date training through direct communication, collaboration, analyses, critical thinking and problem solving…with the help of some clever technology!.

Not so long ago Mary Robinson said “we have 2 decades to save the world from permanent Climate Change”, so my wish for the next 25 years is for us all to stay cool, keep evolving and learning and together, mind the important stuff so that 25 years on we are all still here….still learning, still sharing.

sqt_team

 

Thanks for your continued support.

Oct
16
2014
0

Fundraiser for The Blue Box

In 2013 SQT partnered with The Blue Box Creative Learning Center, a Limerick charity that uses arts therapy to support
Limerick city children and young adults to express themselves throughblue_box music, art and dance.

The Blue Box have a fundraiser event coming up on Thursday October 23rd in Limerick.

Brendan Markham artist in residence for the Blue Box and lead singer of Parliament Square will be performing in Cobblestone Joe’s on Thursday October the 23rd supported by The Fall, The Trip, The Tumble.

The event starts at 9pm in aid of the Blue Box,  Entry is free to the gig and there is a raffle which includes a pair of African Djembe drums. Donations can be made on the night or through the website at www.bluebox.ie. Also find them on Facebook.

Promises to be a good night!

blue_box

Oct
09
2012
0

Training abroad

Over the years, on request, SQT have delivered training courses overseas. Over the years people have travelled from abroad to attend our public courses – indeed one person has just relocated to Ireland for nine months to attend our NEBOSH Diploma course. To date this overseas training has largely come from people finding our website or multinationals based in Ireland who ask us to deliver training at their sites abroad.

Delivery abroad accounts for roughly 5% of our business. Delivering abroad poses few problems. Tutors are willing to travel. English can travel. Our courses can travel.

We have now re-engineered our website such that our portfolio of courses available overseas is more organised and visible.

As always we will be available for all our Irish clients but being able to deliver abroad will add a further string to our bow. Enterprise Ireland have been encouraging and supporting us in this direction.

Exciting times indeed.

Written by in: General |
Oct
05
2012
0

A time of change in Irish Education and Training

The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 was signed by the president on 22nd July. The commencement date is scheduled for a date this month. On that date Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) will be formally brought into being and FETAC, HETAC and NQAI will cease to exist. The new body QQI will also be responsible for quality assurance of the Irish Universities, a function previously performed by Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB).

The legislation has in effect put in place QQI with a provider base across all areas of post-secondary education and training which will also be the custodian for the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Other changes are happening in education and training.
– The existing 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs) are being restructured into 16 local Education and Training Boards.
– SOLAS (Seirbhísí Oideachais Leanunaigh agus Scileanna) is being established as the new Further Education and Training (FET) authority. It will be a body under the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and will be responsible for both the coordination and funding of FET. Under its mandate, SOLAS will ensure that the unemployed in particular are offered the upskilling opportunities necessary to get back into employment.
– The potential emergence of technological universities from amalgamated Institutes of Technology.

It is surely a time of change in Irish Education and Training.

Written by in: General |
Apr
05
2012
0

Quality Ireland LinkedIn Group

Quality Ireland emerged in early 2012 from an initiative at the Quality Management Standards Committee hosted by NSAI. Its members come from a variety of backgrounds. It has now set up a LinkedIn group – Quality Ireland.

According to Quality Ireland, their LinkedIn group is a powerful communication network for people who share their vision of “A better Ireland” and support their mission ‘To promote and foster a culture of quality in Ireland to make life better for individuals, communities, organisations and society in general”.

Membership of the Quality Ireland LinkedIn Group is available, on a moderated basis, to people of all backgrounds who would like to support their work.

Dec
21
2011
0

Happy Christmas from all at SQT

SQT with a festive look

Christmas 2011

Well we try!

Christmas 2011

Thank you for your custom in 2011 and looking forward to working with you in 2012. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas from …

Margie, Eilish, Kim, Lisa and Jean
Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Lisa, Kim, Jean, Lily and Margie
Christmas 2011

Le gach dea-ghui i gcomhair na nollag agus na h-ath bhliana!

Christmas 2011

Written by in: General |
Nov
01
2011
0

Upstart

Upstart by Ed walsh

Ed Walsh returned to Ireland in 1970, a young man in a hurry, to set up an institute of education. He found a decaying mansion on a riverside site, gathered talented young people and secured funding from the World Bank and European Investment Bank to build what became the University of Limerick. Along the way, Ed made powerful enemies as he challenged official cant, traditional academics and clerical humbug. This is an inspiring, frank and often funny memoir by a passionate educational leader.*

Along with many others, I attended the launch of Ed Walsh’s memoir Upstart: Friends, Foes and Founding a University last Wednesday night in UL. My husband, Denis, was one of the first intake of students at the then NIHE. Gerry Higgins from Antaris Consulting (who deliver our Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety training), was also one of that group. It was a night of reminiscing for many of those in attendance. Former Ministers for Education Gemma Hussey and Mary O’Rourke gave very interesting and entertaining speeches. In Ed Walsh, they certainly got somebody who was not a bit shy about challenging anything and everything to make UL happen. In Ed Walsh, Ireland surely got an educational visionary.

* Source: Ed Walsh website

Written by in: General |
Oct
04
2011
0

‘Vanishing Ireland’ in Limerick

If you find yourself in Limerick with ten minutes to spare, pop into the Hunt Museum to see this free exhibition of photographs by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury, (Turtle – what an unusual name!)

It’s a series of portraits of ‘characters’ from an Ireland that is rapidly passing … old men, old women. The detail, the lighting are amazing. Click here and you will get an idea.

Quoting from the Hunt Museum’s website:

In Vanishing Ireland: Recollections of our Changing Times, award-winning photographer James Fennell and bestselling author Turtle Bunbury once again journey the length and breadth of Ireland to bring us an extraordinary, powerful new collection of poignant interviews from ordinary men and women who share with us their memories, providing us with an invaluable link to our past.

Through words and stunningly evocative photographs, we meet the people of Ireland who lived through adversity and hardship during the formative decades of independent Ireland, yet whose courage, kindness and humour remains intact. We talk with those who watched friends and family sail for foreign shores, and lose ourselves in a world where life was simpler, yet somehow happier; where storytelling, fiddle playing, céilís and communal pastimes cemented the deep friendships that became the lifeblood of each community.

The exhibition continues until 23rd October. Definitely worth a visit.

Written by in: General |
Aug
21
2011
0

Wedding bells

Italian Wedding Cake

We gathered to wish Siobhan all the best as she headed off to get married this week.

Wishing Siobhan and Sean health and happiness for many, many years to come.

Written by in: General |
Jul
09
2011
0

Programmatic Review

As a HETAC and FETAC accredited training provider, part of our quality system agreed with both organisations is Programmatic Review.

Earlier this year we did self-evauation of our FETAC soft-skills programmes. We are now completing Programmatic Review of our HETAC accredited Six Sigma programmes. Next year we will be completing a FETAC five year review and Institutional Review for HETAC.

We will publish links to the reports on our website.

Written by in: General |

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