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Prof. Michael Ward Head,
Department of Food Business and Development,
University College Cork
I am honoured to have been invited to chair this morning’s session. My day job is here in UCC where I’m the Professor and Head of the Department of Food Business and Development and the Director of the Centre for Cooperative Studies. I’ve a particular interest in this work-based learning symposium because I, with my colleagues in both the department and the centre, have been involved in Work-Based Learning initiatives of various kinds over the years. So it is a great pleasure to be invited to chair this morning’s proceedings. This work-based learning symposium is being hosted by CIT in association with UCC. The focus of this Higher Education Authority Strategic Innovation Fund project is on work-based learning opportunities through partnership, which is a particularly important focus. Certainly for any of us who have been involved in this type of activity, we know you’re not going to go far without that focus on partnership and getting the various actors to integrate and work together. The focus is very much on education for those in employment, which might sound very strange this morning in the context of when we turn on the radio we hear all of the people who are unemployed or are losing their jobs on a continuous basis. But, in fact when you think about it, it makes very great sense indeed, because the only way we are going to, “create jobs” is to maintain the jobs that we already have. That can only be done through a focus on upskilling, on training, on preparing for a different world, competitiveness and so on. So, as I said the focus is on partnership, and no better person to welcome us all here this morning than someone who is very much involved in partnership and that is Dr Tom Mullins. Dr Tom Mullins is the Director of the Centre for Adult Continuing Education here in UCC. Prior to taking up that position a little over a year ago, Tom spent most of his academic career in the Department of Education.
Sheridan, I. and Linehan, M. Work-Based Learning Symposium Proceedings 2009. Published by CIT Press, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland. 2010.