"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." - Oscar Wilde


Are Kerry and Cork career happy?

Local training centres run live career NCTs to help build drive in local workforce

Shocking recent surveys reveal that: 27% of young people in work feel depressed ‘always’ or ‘often’. 48% of NEETs feel this way. Only 8% of us feel we’re in our dream job! Over 42% waste up to 4 hours a week dreaming of what we could be doing instead but 72% of people rate being happy at work as one of the most important factors to their job.* These stats do not paint a happy picture of the Irish workforce and this week sees activity take place in Kerry and Cork to try and redress this.

This week sees Kerry and Cork based Pitman Training launch a new, free app ‘Career NCT’ intended to help supercharge our Irish workforce, alongside free Career NCT sessions which offer 121 advice based on the findings of the app. Anyone interested in discovering how they can drive their career forward can pop in for the first session on Wednesday 23rd October to get advice from the team at the Kerry and Cork centres, along with money off vouchers for training and a range of giveaways.

The launch of this industry first app and supporting free CV and Career servicing, along with the chance to win the ‘ultimate career package’ worth over €2,000, is a bid to help those in Kerry and Cork fight against the national statistics. The team is hoping that by tapping into technology they can help people from across the region identify their key skills and character traits that could help them get their dream job. As well as popping into the centre you can also try out the app online at, or download it for your phone.

Enabling you to create your own personal avatar, the first step is in designing the 'aspirational you', to inspire you into planning a better future. A set of quick questions then work to profile you and your skills, helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses, and strong careers prospects you could explore. You could discover you're an 'Intuitive Thinker', a 'Natural Leader' or a 'Creative Idealist' and the app generates a personal Career NCT certificate for you to record all the findings.

Kerry and Cork Centre Manager, Tomás Finneran said: “We hope people will make a pit stop in their day to call in for a career NCT. We believe that a bit of encouragement, in a fun way, will show there are ways we can take charge of our careers, and we hope this will lead to Kerry and Cork being places full of happier workers. Asking if your skills are perfectly matched to the job you’re in, and if you could make use of your key character traits to help you get ahead, our Career NCTs are a chance to see how you can help yourself to be happier at work. Drop in on the way to work, in your lunch hour, whilst out shopping, or on your way home, and tap into our free advice".

You can find out more about the campaign here:

Having a lack of money to train came out in research as a key barrier for why people are not going after their dream jobs, with 37.5% citing this as an issue, however the Career NCT illustrates how to make existing skills pay, as well as identifying new ones you could learn, to help highlight how our unique personalities can be one of the biggest assets in our careers.

Leading happiness consultant and author, Alexandra Watson said: “Being happy at work isn’t just about whether you like your boss, get on with your colleagues and get to take advantage of long lunches from time to time - today’s workforce is much more driven than that. In tough times we might assume that people are happy just to be in a job, but this isn’t the case. This is when we think even more about our future and our prospects and if we can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel we quickly lose interest. Encouraging people to identify their skills, and key character traits that could help them move forward is a great way to show that there are more exciting futures out there. This is also true for people who are currently unemployed, who may be struggling to see any options at all - having a kind of road map to work to is a huge help”.

With further Pitman statistics showing that only 27% of us have a career development plan, and 83% of us referring to our annual appraisal as our only form of reviewing our progress, and 67% of us not having done a skills review since school,* the Pitman Training team hope the use of technology and a fun app will encourage people to take another look at their career plans.

Fluirse/Pitman Training, Career NCT Press Release, 31st October 2013


 Fluirse combats soaring cost of traditional education in Ireland

Fluirse offers best value alternative to crazy college costs with better employment prospects

There is little point in concentrating on fees alone, if these courses do not deliver.

-Tomas Finneran, Pitman TrainingThere is a welcome alternative to the exorbitant costs that students and their parents are faced with when attending 3rd level education in Ireland, according to a spokesperson for Ireland’s largest network of independent training centres.

The Irish League of Credit Unions published the results of a survey into the costs of third level education in Ireland this week. This is the second such study carried out by the ILCU, the first of which was carried out in 2011. In addition to looking at the issue of financing education, the study also highlights the impact of the costs of third level education on family spending and budgets as well as the challenges and concerns of both parents and students in relation to finance, grants, living away from home, job prospects and course choice.

The survey highlighted the exorbitant costs of going to college in Ireland, when average rent, tuition fees and other monthly costs such as food, travel and general expenses were calculated. “Over 77% of our graduates found employment after finishing their course last year, and that’s higher than any other training institution in Ireland.” explained Tomas Finneran, Director of Pitman Training in the Kerry and Cork region and spokesperson for Pitman Training in Ireland. “Yet, we consistently achieve this at a fraction of the cost of other colleges and universities. Many of our students choose to study part-time once an employment opportunity becomes available, and most can complete their training within 3 to 6 months, so they are faced with nothing like the crazy cost of attending traditional colleges and universities”.

Finneran explained, “There is little point in concentrating on fees alone, if these courses do not deliver. In our experience, students’ number one concern is gaining the skills and qualifications to secure a job, or to be more specific, a career of their choice”

“Aside from the benefit of reduced fees, our system obviously works…the number of our students that gain employment, often before even completing their course, proves that. You would expect that with fewer opportunities for employment, the number of our graduates getting jobs would also fall, but in fact the opposite is the case. 69% of our graduates gained employment in 2010, this has now increased to over 77%! The vast majority are finding employment…our students’ are competing and beating the best university graduates with their practical, no-nonsense, highly employable skills!”

Finneran has called on Career Councillors and local employment agencies to highlight the benefits of Pitman Training as a real alternative to the traditional college routes. “There is far too much emphasis on the “points race”. It’s placing unnecessary pressure on our young people and the implication is that this is the only real pathway to a sustainable future career. It’s now time to recognise that academia is not for everyone, and that most employers and not looking for college degrees from graduates, but rather a good attitude, work ethic and real, relevant and up-to-date skills tailored to the role”

Fluirse/Pitman Training, General Press Release, 15th August 2013


Fluirse/Pitman Training call on graduates to bolster National Internship Scheme experience with practical, “employer-friendly” skills.

Employers will make their decision to hire based on three key areas: Attitude, Experience and Skills

-Tomas Finneran, Pitman TrainingPitman Training have called on graduates to embrace a unique opportunity to participate on the National Internship Scheme whilst gaining highly practical, employer-friendly skills through flexible training programmes.

Pitman Training have come out in firm support of the new National Internship Scheme, and are encouraging graduates to take the unique opportunity the programme presents to gain valuable experience. The nationwide training organisation recently called on the government to support and encourage more practical training programmes that can deliver the real skills they claim employers are still finding difficult to find. The organisation are now advising participants of the Internship Scheme to also take a closer look at their skills, not just the qualifications gained from college.

Spokesperson for Pitman Training in Ireland, Tomás Finneran explained the benefits of taking this approach. “Many of those who are considering taking up a position with a company through the National Internship Scheme are forgetting to use their time on the programme to maximise their employability.”

“Employers will make their decision to hire based on three key areas: Attitude, Experience and Skills. Presuming you have the right attitude, and that the Internship will deliver six to nine months relevant industry experience, the obvious gap remains. Employers are crying out for highly practical and productive skills from their new recruits. Centres such as Pitman Training have a range of relevant courses which are run in part-time and flexible formats that allow individuals to train and gain these skills.”

The economic downturn has resulted in reduced opportunities for employment, and the team at Pitman Training in Cork and Kerry are working closely with those looking to up-skill to help them find employment through training programmes, job seeking skills, CV and Interview skills support.

Siobhan Beasley, Senior Course Advisor at the centre explained how choosing the right training course is critical, “We are telling our students that their aim should always be to get their CV to the top of the pile. It’s true that employers are being bombarded with applications as soon as they advertise a vacancy. However, this shouldn’t mean there is less of a chance of getting called for an interview.”

“The vast majority of applicants lack the relevant skills, experience appropriately composed applications. We work closely with every student to ensure they get the exact skills employers need whilst coaching in job seeking skills so their applications are flawless. Over 69% of our 2010 graduates found employment after finishing their course, that’s higher than any other training institution in Ireland. So we must be doing something right?”

Over 1,100 students training at Pitman Training last year alone throughout their network of training centres across Ireland and the organisation has delivered some of the most impressive employment statistics in Ireland for their graduates.

Siobhan highlighted the success that Pitman Training has had across Ireland, “Since opening our first centre in Ireland back in 1992, we have demonstrated that when individuals have the skills employers want, the jobs are there. Employers are calling our centres every week looking for students who can hit the ground running. Good computer skills, the latest Microsoft packages, Irish-specific bookkeeping, Medical Secretary skills…these are the types of skills that local employers still need. Remember, to compete for these jobs, job-seekers need those practical, employer–friendly skills.”

Pitman Training are currently enrolling for their September training programmes. Over 100 courses are available in Microsoft Office, Administration, Secretarial, Web-Design, Accounts and Business IT as well as a comprehensive range of IT professional training programmes. For more information or to secure your place, contact the centre in Blackpool at (021) 428 6555 or online at

Fluirse/Pitman Training, General Press Release, 16th August 2011


Fluirse/Pitman Training introduce online careers training in Cork and Kerry

Our blended learning system combines the best of online study, with the high standards and quality accredited training

-Tomas Finneran, Pitman TrainingPitman Training have announced a revolutionary way for individuals to train and upskill for a new career. The “Blended Learning” service was launched this week and is being pioneered across Cork and Kerry.

Individuals who are looking for a better career, a new skill or a new career can now access the very best career training without having to leave their own homes or workplace. Course material is sent by post and all additional training resources such as sample tests, sample answers and notes are available on the Pitman Training Home-Study online learning system which can be easily accessed by anyone with internet access.

Of course, in order to receive the relevant accreditation from Pitman Training and other awarding bodies (Microsoft, FETAC. CompTIA, ITEC etc) a validation test must be taken at the Pitman Training Centres at the end of each course. However, Pitman Training have introduced flexible test dates, meaning that students can book any test with just 24 hours notice and decide on a date and time that suits them.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our training centres and now allows individuals from the right across Cork and Kerry to access the highest quality career-based training available” explained Centre Director Tomás Finneran.

“Employers are becoming increasingly demanding with regard to qualifications and specific skills. For example, many of those unfortunate enough to have been made redundant recently may never have even heard of FETAC qualifications or used the latest versions of Microsoft Office, yet these are viewed as the minimum requirement for many of the positions that are currently advertised. Those living outside the larger cities and towns therefore had a distinct disadvantage in gaining employment as access to quality career-based training is usually only available in the larger population centres. It can be costly to commute regularly to Cork or Tralee, if you live in Baltimore or Kenmare for example.”

With the new online training system, Pitman Training can deliver their career-based courses to individuals outside the main population centres in Cork and Kerry.

“Our blended learning system combines the best of online study, with the high standards and quality accredited training that we’ve become renowned for delivering at our training centres in Cork city and Tralee. New students who sign-up to any of our career-based courses such as Medical Secretarial or IT Technician will firstly meet with our Senior Course Advisor who will offer expert guidance and advice on choosing the most appropriate training programme to give the best opportunity for a new or better career.”

“For individuals in remote locations, we will even offer to travel and meet the individual, meaning lack of transport and geographical locations are no longer a barrier. Even our end of course test times are now available in a flexible way, meaning students who decide to study from home can schedule their tests at either centre at time that suits them, in fact, they can even decide to sit a number of tests on the same day, if they’re able for it!”

The Blended Learning system is effectively combining access to the training centres and tutors with an online training college - designed to enhance students’ training experience and help them through their course. The state-of-the-art online learning platform was developed by the Flúirse Education Solutions team in Kerry and not only gives you consistent access to valuable course materials, but also is the ideal platform for students to contact and interact with course tutors, who are always available to answer any question and the touch of a button.

Through the Internet, students will have 24:7 access to course materials and learning resources as well as an opportunity for peer discussions with tutor feedback and support in the form of discussion groups, chat sessions and one-to-one dialogue - all through one easy-to-use online area.

This flexibility and simplicity is perfect for people who may be living or working in remote locations where access to the training centres is restricted, or for individuals with family commitments.

When asked if having a computer with Internet access was the minimum requirement to participate, Tomás explained that even this hurdle could be overcome as Pitman Training can even provide modern laptop computers with built-in internet access to course participants.

“Some students, particularly those who are new to computers or the internet may not own a computer, never mind have access to the internet. I’m sure we’re unique here in that we can even provide our students with their own laptop and wireless internet access in the vast majority of locations in Cork and Kerry….so there really is no obstacle for them to better themselves today.”

It is expected that this training system will be rolled out to the remaining Pitman Training centres throughout Ireland by the end of this year.

Fluirse/Pitman Training, General Press Release, 22nd July 2010


Cork career based training centre wins award for the fastest growing training centre

It is important that everything that can is done to support both the recent and long-term unemployed as our economy experiences a recession.

-Tomas Finneran, Pitman TrainingA local career-based training centre has been awarded a prestigious award after opening its doors in Cork only 2 years ago. The Pitman Training in Blackpool, Cork was the fastest growing centre in Ireland in 2009.

Centre Director Tomás Finneran was delighted with the achievement. “This is a great achievement for the team in Cork. It’s thanks to the combined dedication and teamwork of our centre tutors, career advisors and management that has made this Ireland’s fastest growing centre.”

Tomás explained that for those recently made redundant, many have found that some practical training is necessary to gain the qualifications and skills that employers now take for granted from prospective candidates.

“Employers are becoming increasingly demanding with regard to qualifications and specific skills. For example, many of those unfortunate enough to have been made redundant recently may never have even heard of FETAC qualifications or used the latest versions of Microsoft Office, yet these are viewed as the minimum requirement for many of the positions that are currently advertised.”

Training centres such as Pitman Training are a critical part of any economic recovery. “It is important that everything that can is done to support both the recent and long-term unemployed as our economy experiences a recession. Offering individuals the opportunity to train in computer, office and professional courses that offer practical skills that are essential for any modern workplace is a good start.”

The Pitman Training name has been synonymous with quality training for generations starting out with one shorthand school in 1870. Today, Pitman Training is unique in being not only the oldest and longest running independent training organisation, but also for having one of the largest networks of training centres in the world. There are more than 90 Pitman Training Centres all over the UK, Ireland and the Middle East, training 50,000 people every year.

In fact, Pitman Training is now the largest independent training network in Ireland offering local solutions to businesses and individuals alike. The organisation offers a choice of training options including full and part-time courses both at their centre and from home using their unique home-study system.

There are currently 15 Pitman Training centres across Ireland in towns such as Dundalk, Galway, Gorey, Mullingar, Sligo, Cork and Wexford. In 1992, Pitman Training launched a programme to expand its training network given the demand for highly practical career-based skills, a sector that the Institutes of Technology and Universities were struggling to address. Since then, Pitman Training has grown steadily to a network of 90 locations throughout Ireland and the UK with the first Pitman Training Centre in Ireland opening its doors in Dublin in 1994.

As well as an ever-expanding range of courses for business, ICT and professionals, Pitman Training have developed their services further with FETAC government accreditation for all Pitman Training Diplomas. Another expanding market for Pitman Training is the move towards online and home-study training with more and more Pitman Training courses available online. Training Centres can therefore continue to deliver courses to individuals no matter where they are located.

Pitman- Training Cork Fastest Growing Centre














Fluirse/Pitman Training, General Press Release, 10th February 2010


Kerry eLearning company wins award at SFA National Awards

We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award, not only for the company but also our hard-working staff.

-Kristian O'Donovan, Fluirse Education SolutionsFlúirse Education Solutions received the All-Ireland “Highly Commended” award for Outstanding Small Business at the Small Firms Association National Business Awards 2009.

The presentation of the award was made by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, TD, the patron on the awards, at a gala lunch in the Mansion House, on Thursday, 5th March. This is the fifth year of the SFA National Small Business Awards, which are organised by the Small Firms Association.

An Taoiseach acknowledged: “The scale of the economic challenges now facing us in Ireland is without precedent, with national income set to fall by upwards of 10% over the 2008-2010 period.” In speaking about future Government plans he said: “We are reforming and restructuring across the economy to ensure that we emerge well-placed to benefit from the global upturn, with a focus on innovation and research and development, green enterprise and energy efficiency and high productivity employment. Future growth will be led by exports based on competitive strengths in these areas. The SFA National Small Business Awards provide further evidence that we have people with the drive and skills to meet current economic challenges with confidence.”

Announcing the winner, Dr Aidan O’Boyle, SFA Chairman and Chair of the Judging Panel stated that: “This is a day for the small business sector to show pride in the companies joining us here, who have shown the way in which success can be achieved by good planning and dedication. I have no doubt that many of the companies here today are experiencing difficult times but you exemplify the key attributes underpinning your success, which are passion, drive and most importantly optimism. With the right support, businesses with such passion, drive and optimism will be the ones to lead us forward out of this recession. As there are now over a quarter of a million small businesses in Ireland, employing 777,000 people, small business is set to make a vital contribution to our economic recovery”.

Co-founder of Flúirse Education Solutions, Kristian O’Donovan, stated on winning the award: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award, not only for the company but also our hard-working staff. It is great to see that Kerry companies are holding their own in these challenging times.”

small firms award presentation 2009

















Fluirse Education Solutions, General Press Release, 9th March 2009


Fluirse calls for more ICT in schools

We're about 5 to 10 years behind the UK at present in terms of investment and development

-Kristian O'Donovan, Managing Director and co-founderKristian O'Donovan, one of the firm's co-founders and directors, told ENN that a failure to invest in ICT in schools would have disastrous consequences for the Irish economy.

"We're about 5 to 10 years behind the UK at present in terms of investment and development," said O'Donovan. "In the long run this will see international software companies stop coming to Ireland."

He said the average amount spent on ICT per child in the UK was more than double that spent per child in Ireland.

The Fluirse director said the Government's current focus was failing to address the needs of the education system. "All the money seems to be going to fourth level when it should be going into primary schools," said O'Donovan. "We need to integrate IT into education at an early age."

Fluirse's call for more funding for IT in primary and second level education comes in the wake of the firm criticising how the Government distributed funding in education in the Budget earlier this week.

"Whilst we welcome the announcement by the Minister to allocate EUR828 million of the total education budget of EUR9.3 billion to schools' capital investment, we are disappointed that once again this government has failed to take any measures to address the continued lack of investment in and support for ICT in our primary schools," said Tomas Finneran, co-founder and director of Fluirse.

"Whilst this Government is starting to address the obvious physical infrastructure inadequacies, they are ignoring the increasingly outdated and inadequate ICT infrastructure."

Finneran said that while Fluirse welcomed the boost in capital investment for schools, the Government failed to see the bigger picture. "There is much more to education than four walls and a roof, and this Budget fails to recognise this," he said.

"After the wealth that this economy has delivered and was available to this government over the past decade, it is clear that we have missed another opportunity to establish an effective ICT Infrastructure in our primary schools."

The Kerry-based firm was found by Finneran and O'Donovan in 2005. Fluirse employs six people and recently won the award for Best Campus Spinout at the InterTrade Ireland All Island Seedcorn Awards. - Irelands IT News Source 7th December 2007 by Emmet Ryan