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Home » Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2021 » Further Education & Training

Further Education & Training



“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

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

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

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

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

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)

Postgraduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in FET

A collaborative and transformative endeavour

This article explores a collaboration between CDETB and TCD that has resulted in the first postgraduate certificate course in Diversity and Inclusion, designed specifically for FET. It highlights the rationale for the course design, and outlines how it will contribute to professional learning and development, learner experience, and the sector as a whole.

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

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

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)

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.

Justin Rami PhD
Director of the Further Education & Training Research Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University
Jane O’Kelly PhD
Deputy Director of the Further Education & Training Research Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

The ETBs’ QQI Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care

A shared curriculum approach to developing a new programme for the Education and Training Boards’ FET services

Professional award standards for Early Learning and Care were published by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) in November 2019. By September 2021, new programmes were ready for rollout. This article looks at the shared curriculum approach that the 16 Education and Training Boards took to developing new programmes leading to new awards.

Fiona Fay
FET Quality Assurance Officer and Early Learning and Care Programme Manager, Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board

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