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Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

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€4 million programme to encourage unemployed young people back into the workplace

Posted on March 13, 2019

€4 million programme launched at LIT to encourage young people, who are not in employment or education, back into the workplace

A €4.075 million outdoor education programme designed to encourage young people from Ireland, Poland and Spain to return to studies or the labour market, was launched during NEF (New Education Forum) at LIT Thurles Campus on Friday March 1st.

This pioneering programme entitled FOLM (From Outdoors to Labour Market) is aimed at young people aged between 18 and 29 years old, who are not in employment or education, and will be rolled out in the Mid-West Region of Ireland in the coming weeks. The programme will teach participants life skills in the wilderness, before coaching them on how to access further education and employment.

The programme will engage 990 young people from the Mid-West (Ireland), Warmia-Masuria (Poland), and Cantabria (Spain) over the next three years. LIT will facilitate the FOLM project in Ireland with as many as 330 of the overall participants coming from Tipperary, Limerick and Clare.

The outdoor learning model blueprint was designed by the University of Edinburgh, who with the support of the Venture Trust, have implemented the programme there for more than ten years with positive results. FOLM will be piloted in Tipperary this year, expanded into Limerick and Clare, and then other regions thereafter. LIT is working in partnership with local development groups and youth services in the Mid-West region to identify young people who may benefit from the project.

The participants will spend a week in the “wilderness”, namely the Knockmealdown Mountains, learning life skills, building resilience and developing a positive mental mind set. On return from the outdoor learning, the participants will work with a coach who will help them to return to education, training or employment.

Seamus Hoyne, Development and Public Engagement Manager at LIT and Manager responsible for the FOLM Project in Ireland said “The FOLM Project uses Outdoor Learning as a means to engage youth with the community. Through the programme participants recognise their talents, strengthen soft skills, build self-esteem and self-awareness, and fortify attitudes for employment. Then the Project Consortium provides job matching through outreach to employers’ organisations, promotion, mentoring and trial employment. 

 We at LIT believe this project will be hugely beneficial to young people who may otherwise struggle to access education or employment. It is a project that helps to bring out people’s strengths, allow them to discover their true abilities and find a place in the labour market that meets their needs and that of society in general.”

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