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President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins visited the inaugural Ireland Skills Live at RDS Simmonscourt today.
The President and his wife did an extensive walking tour of the arena or over 90 minutes, stopping to speak with many competitors, who were all happy to break off the hard work as they were finishing up their final tests in the National Skills Finals this afternoon.
President Higgins was clearly impressed with the high standard of skill and craft on exhibit, from Building Information Modelling to Visual Merchandising, from Cloud Computing to Carpentry.
President Higgins remarked after touring the full arena,
“The Ireland Skills Live event is a very important exhibition. It concentrates on most valuable skills, that some of the very best people who are thinking about how one can express one’s creativity in the most useful possible way, can use in any part of the world.
And at the exhibition I met some of the most dedicated teachers and all of the institutes here are doing far-seeing, future-oriented work and, I don’t mind saying, I would love to see all parents bring their young people here.
I believe that this exhibition will in time be as important as the Young Scientist Exhibition.”
Adrian Cummins Head of the Restaurant Association of Ireland said today that they had over 150 career enquiries for chef courses at the Failte Ireland/ Tourism Ireland Hospitality stand, over the three days of Ireland Skills Live.
"We need chefs in hospitality in Ireland" he said, "I have been saying this for years, so it is great to get such a good reaction from students and potential apprentice chefs."
“We are delighted to support this innovative and long awaited initiative for kinaesthetic learners” said Beatrice Dooley, President of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. “A huge thank you to all of the guidance counsellors who registered the students and organized the buses to ferry them to Ireland Skills Live today.”
Over the three days of Ireland Skills Live, from Thursday March 21-23, the RDS Simmonscourt arena was visited by over 10,000 second level students. today, Family Day was busy with parents and young people visiting the stands and competitions.
At 7.30pm this evening the winners of the National Skills Finals will be awarded their specially commissioned silver medals by Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor. Many of the winners will go on to represent Ireland at the World Skills Finals in Kazan Russia next August.
Media Enquiries To: Yvonne Judge 087 6624775