Top - Leah Quigley and Mikayla Buckley, LOETB Birr students, in the middle, Leanne Lowry and Louise Donaldson, LOETB Birr students, with in front,John McFadden, Retail and Pharmacy Assistant Teacher, LOETB Birr, Aisling Kinsella, LOETB Birr student, Eileen Kenna Quinn, Centre Manager, LOETB Birr, Arlene Douglas, Director of Adult Education LCFE, Mulgrave Street and Rose Doyle, Assistant Director of Adult Education, LCFE, Mulgrave Street.

Exciting collaboration for Birr educational facility

Laois Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) in Birr has announced an exciting collaboration with Limerick Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) for their retail with pharmacy students.

Under this new partnership, the retail with pharmacy students will complete the additional Irish Pharmaceutical Union (IPU) Medical and Counter Assistant in LCETB's Mulgrave Street Campus on Fridays for several months.

This additional qualification will allow successful students to dispense over the counter medicines and products in a pharmaceutical setting.

Eileen Kenna Quinn, LOETB Birr, Centre Manager said: "We are very excited to have made this link with LCETB, Mulgrave Street. In a research report carried out last year with local pharmacies in Birr I learned the importance of customer service and over the counter skills.

"Through collaboration with LCETB, we now have six students attending the Friday course. The students take a very early bus from Birr on Friday mornings to attend and we applaud their determination to attain this additional qualification along with their Retail with Pharmacy QQI Level 5 Award.

"A big thank you to John McFadden, Birr, Theresa Ryan, Guidance and Arlene and Rose from LCETB for making it happen,” she said in tribute.

LOETB Birr, Retail with Pharmacy Assistant Teacher, John McFadden added that "between 10,000 and 25,000 people ask for advice in pharmacies each day. This additional course will give our students the knowledge to deal with specific product questions from nutritional to child health, while being aware of when to refer to the pharmacist".

Arlene Douglas, Director of Adult Education LCETB, Mulgrave Street Campus, said it's great to see the excitement of the LOETB Birr Students joining with Limerick and Clare Learners to study on the very popular Medical Counter Assistant (Irish Pharmacy Union) Course at Mulgrave Street Campus Limerick.

“We already have seen the benefits of the course with one student securing OTC work experience during the Easter holidays, due to participating on the course,” Mr McFadden ended.