Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

A Drogheda woman has been se­lected to rep­re­sent Ire­land at one of the world’s largest em­ploy­ment events.

Mar­garet Reilly, en­tre­pre­neur at Grand De­signs Kitchen & Bed­rooms, has been se­lected as Ire­land’s Am­bas­sador for the 2018 Euro­pean Vo­ca­tional Skills Week, which will be held in Vienna, Aus­tria from Novem­ber 5th -9th.

“Keep­ing busi­ness lo­cal is so vi­tal here in Drogheda and in com­mu­ni­ties across Ire­land, and ap­pren­tice­ships can help de­liver on that,” says Mar­garet, who has owned Grand De­signs for al­most 10 years.

“My role as Am­bas­sador for the Euro­pean Vo­ca­tional Skills Week is to tell ev­ery­one, young peo­ple, teach­ers, ca­reer coun­sel­lors and par­ents: ev­ery­one has the po­ten­tial to be great at some­thing.”

Mar­garet has shared her own story in Ted Talks around the coun­try of how an aca­demic route to her dream ca­reer wasn’t for her, and says she is de­lighted to have that op­por­tu­nity on an in­ter­na­tional plat­form too.

“I could never have dreamed I would one day run my own busi­ness do­ing some­thing I love. And it was an ap­pren­tice­ship as well as some choice words of en­cour­age­ment that got me here,” she says.

“My mes­sage is that third level ed­u­ca­tion is not for ev­ery­one. Some­times the bet­ter route is through ap­pren­tice­ships. And re­mem­ber, vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and training is an op­por­tu­nity for all age groups – it’s never too late to learn!”

Or­gan­ised by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the week will in­volve hun­dreds of events across the EU to highlight the ben­e­fits that Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Training ( VET) brings to peo­ple of all ages.

“Dis­cover your Tal­ent!” is the motto of the cam­paign and Mar­garet aims to show that VET and ap­pren­tice­ships are a smart choice, lead­ing to high-qual­ity jobs and in­creased em­ploy­a­bil­ity.

“I am de­lighted that Mar­garet Reilly has ac­cepted to be an Am­bas­sador for our Euro­pean Vo­ca­tional Skills Week in Novem­ber,” added Mar­i­anne Thyssen, the EU Com­mis­sioner for Em­ploy­ment, So­cial Af­fairs, Skills and Labour Mo­bil­ity.

“I am firmly con­vinced that vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and training is a great first choice for a first-rate ca­reer, and I know that Mar­garet Reilly shares our com­mit­ment to spread that mes­sage loud and clear”.

Last year, over 1,500 events took place across 45 coun­tries dur­ing the sec­ond edi­tion of the Euro­pean Vo­ca­tional Skills Week.

The 2018 Week is ex­pected to at­tract an even big­ger turnout. The to­tal reach of the cam­paign on so­cial me­dia last year was over 15 mil­lion peo­ple.

Mar­garet Reilly

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