‘Don’t despair,’ college head tells students

“DON’T despair because of the current economic crisis-this is the best time to be entering third level education”. That’s the message from John O’Halloran, principal, Limerick Tutorial College, to Leaving Certificate students.

He told the Limerick Post: “I suppose the real problem will emerge with those who have just left third level education-there are very few vacancies out there at the moment. There appears to be nothing available in the professions – I know of qualified architects, surveyors, accountants, teachers and solicitors out there seeking employment – any kind of work, in fact”.

Mr O’Halloran remains optimistic that Ireland will turn the corner in four or five years. “We bounced back from similar positions before, and I have no doubt we will do so again. Of course, students are concerned, but personally, I would prefer to be aged 18-19 now and going into third level, rather than coming out. When we do make our way out of the current cycle, employers will have the pick of the crop. Therefore, It is important for those coming out of our universities that they continue to pursue their studies in some format”.

He cited the situation where they advertised one teaching post at Limerick Tutorial College and were inundated with CVs.

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This year’s Leaving Certificate papers, he said, had been quite favourable.

“Yes, there was a glitch with the English papers last week and a lot of fuss was created in the media. It was, I suppose, a shock to the system for students but they used their common sense and availed of the Thursday as a work day. Here, tribute must be paid to them and their parents for the way they accepted the situation”.