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Further Education & Training

Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2021

THE LEARNER VOICE IN IRELAND

“Over the last five years, AONTAS has done an excellent job in creating a platform here learners come together to tell us about their experience of Further Education and Training.”

– Andrew Brownlee, CEO, SOLAS

“As one of the largest learner voice projects in Europe, the Forum empowers learners to authentically share their views so that we  can continue to improve FET in Ireland. It  has become a vital space for learners to  share their experiences and challenges of engaging in FET courses, and more importantly, offering suggestions on how to improve this process.”

– Niamh O’Reilly, CEO, AONTAS

Further Education & Training

Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2021

THE LEARNER VOICE IN IRELAND

“Over the last five years, AONTAS has done an excellent job in creating a platform here learners come together to tell us about their experience of Further Education and Training.”

– Andrew Brownlee, CEO, SOLAS

“As one of the largest learner voice projects in Europe, the Forum empowers learners to authentically share their views so that we  can continue to improve FET in Ireland. It  has become a vital space for learners to  share their experiences and challenges of engaging in FET courses, and more importantly, offering suggestions on how to improve this process.”

– Niamh O’Reilly, CEO, AONTAS

2021: A Milestone Year for FET and Apprenticeships

This piece offers an overview of further education and training (FET) in Ireland in what proved a milestone year for the sector. It describes the major developments in FET and apprenticeship in 2021, outlines the policies and strategies at play, and looks ahead to an exciting 2022.

Andrew Brownlee

Andrew Brownlee

Chief Executive Officer, SOLAS

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The FET to HE Pathway: A Tale of Two Certifications

Towards equity of competition for year 1  places in higher education

This article looks at the key issues to be addressed in achieving the strategic goal of simplifying the pathway from further education and training to higher education (HE). In particular, it compares the two State certification systems as the current pathways to HE, and examines the advantageous position of the Leaving Certificate over the QQI system in its historical and contemporary contexts. It concludes by outlining a possible scenario for an integrated and equitable CAO points system.

Rory O’Sullivan

Dr Rory O’Sullivan

Chair of FET Colleges Ireland

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An Inclusive Approach for an Inclusive Strategy

The role of ETB FET services in Adult Literacy for Life

Adult Literacy for Life, the new 10-year Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Strategy, envisages a whole-of-society approach to ensuring that adults in Ireland have the literacy skills they need to function in an inclusive and equitable economy and society. ETB FET services have the experience and expertise to play a leading role in implementing these objectives.

Cróna Gallagher

Cróna Gallagher

Director of Further Education, Donegal ETB

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One Size Fits All

Reconsidering the mandatory status of Work Experience in QQI level 5 awards for further education students on a trajectory to higher education

This article explores the need to develop the existing QQI level 5 curriculum for Post-Leaving Certificate students seeking to progress to higher education. It assesses the current progression policies and initiatives, and it reviews the latest data, to reconsider the suitability of the Work Experience module. It concludes by recommending that a new module be developed.

Mark Keane

Dr Mark Keane

Head of Music and Course Coordinator, Galway Community College

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Putting Wellbeing at the Centre of the Learner Experience

Looking forward as we progress in our educational landscape

This article explores the concept of wellbeing as an essential contributor to learners’ progression in further education and training. It positions learner supports at the heart of the learner experience, drawing on principles of societal and economic reform that are illustrated in learner supports and engagement.

Tanya Jones

Tanya Jones

Further Education and Training Strategy and Policy Manager, Education & Training Boards Ireland

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Why Should We Be Aware of European Policies in Education and Guidance?

An introduction to current EU Agenda policies directly affecting national developments in education, training, and guidance sectors

As an EU Member State, Ireland informs and is informed by decisions, agreements, policies, and priorities identified at EU level. Understanding how these agendas and decisions influence national priorities and planning can support the development of quality and the delivery of practice.

Jennifer McKenzie

Jennifer McKenzie

Director, National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)

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The Value and Appeal of Further Education and Training

Shining a light on FET in Ireland in 2021

This article highlights the progression routes and opportunities for skills development in further education and training, looking beyond direct entry to third-level education, and shows why FET can ‘hold the key to that degree’.

Fiona Sneddon

Fiona Sneddon

Further Education and Training Manager,  Cork Education and Training Board

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The Changing World of Learning and Development in FET

Professional learning and development in the Education and Training Boards

This article highlights the importance of professional learning and development, the need to think differently in the midst of a pandemic, and the diverse activities and approaches taken across Ireland’s Education and Training Boards in the past year.

Moira Walsh

Moira Walsh

Director of People, SOLAS

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Postgraduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in FET

A collaborative and transformative endeavour

This article highlights the importance of professional learning and development, the need to think differently in the midst of a pandemic, and the diverse activities and approaches taken across Ireland’s Education and Training Boards in the past year.

Carrie Archer

Carrie Archer

Professional Learning and Development Coordinator, City of Dublin Education and Training Board

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FET Enterprise Challenges  and Opportunities

In a rapidly changing world of work, it is important that enterprise engagement be increased to ensure that the programmes delivered best reflect the current and future skill needs of industry. This article outlines why this matters and how it might best be achieved.

Joe Leddin

Joe Leddin

Manager of Mid-West Regional Skills Forum

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New Thinking in FET

Covid-19 as a catalyst and driving force for  advancing the sector

This article is an opinion piece on how Covid-19 has accelerated the FET strategy in the last 20 months. It gives examples on how SOLAS and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science supported the enabling themes of the strategy to transform the sector.

Cecilia Munro

Cecilia Munro

Principal of Ballyfermot College of Further Education

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NCGE Vision for FET Guidance and Information Service

The opportunity now exists in Ireland to place the FET Guidance and Information Service at the heart of lifelong learning and to develop seamless, collaborative, and appropriate lifelong career guidance provision for everyone. This is achievable through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation among all the stakeholders involved, as this article outlines.

Jennifer McKenzie

Jennifer McKenzie

Director, National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)

Mary Stokes

Mary Stokes

FET Guidance Programme Coordinator,  National Centre for Guidance in Education

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Microcredentials: Hope or Hype?

A look at the growing interest in and opportunities offered by micro-credentials in Ireland and internationally

This article explores the growing interest in micro-credentials in Ireland and internationally. These credentials or micro-qualifications are increasingly attractive to learners, funders, and policymakers because they can be highly focused on known areas of specific skill shortage and can be obtained in a relatively short time. They have taken on greater importance as they are seen to have a role to play in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Padraig Walsh

Dr Padraig Walsh

Chief Executive of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

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Teaching in Further Education and Training

Implications for the professional formation of the FET practitioner

This article explores policy and theory relating to a vision of the further education and training practitioner. It considers the importance of initial teacher education and the professionalisation of the role in contributing to the standing of FET. To achieve the vision of an FET College of the Future, the time is now right to turn our attention to the professional role of the FET practitioner.

Padraig Walsh

Justin Rami PhD

Director of the Further Education &  Training Research Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Padraig Walsh

Jane O’Kelly PhD

Deputy Director of the Further  Education & Training Research Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

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Other Chapters Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2021

Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Complete Yearbook

Introduction - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Introduction

Early Childhood - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Early Childhood

Primary - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Primary

Second Level - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Second Level

FET - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

FET

Higher Education - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Higher Education

Research - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Research

Ireland's Education Yearbook 2021 is supported by: