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Home » Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2023 » Further Education & Training

Further Education & Training



Hazel Johnston is the first ever female Apprentice of the Year.

Out of 222 nominees put forward, Hazel came first, scooping the prestigious #GenerationApprenticeship Apprentice of the Year Award 2023.

Transformational Opportunities for Adult Education

The Further Education and Training Strategy and the implications for adult education and training

The ongoing structural reforms in further education and training (FET) and the implementation of SOLAS policies present an exciting phase in the transformation of FET in Ireland. Connecting a broad range of adult education and training programmes together under the umbrella of FET in Education and Training Boards (ETBs) involves a fusion of differing principles, philosophies, and practice approaches. This article considers this transformation from an adult education perspective.

Aislinn Brennan
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme Coordinator, Enniscorthy FET Centre, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board
Maeve O’Grady
Retired Senior Lecturer, School of Education & Lifelong Learning, South East Technological University

The Health Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Pathways to promoting better wellbeing among older adults

Lifelong learning is integral to government strategy on education, and there is great diversity of courses available, though also barriers to participation. This article explores the health benefits of lifelong learning among older adults, and the different forms of intelligence that it fosters. It concludes by outlining the opportunities that our new understanding presents for the FET sector and tertiary education.

Dr Trudy Corrigan
School of Policy and Practice, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Transformation through Tertiary

Facilitating student transition and promoting educational equity in a unified tertiary system

The introduction of the new tertiary degree route from further education and training to higher education was a historic reform by the Minster and his department. The purpose was to provide another route to degree-level education that is not dependent on Leaving Cert results, points, or lottery access based on QQI results. Tertiary degrees offer students seamless transition from further to higher education, underpinned by collaborative programme design and teaching collaboration in shared spaces and shared student experiences.

Fiona Maloney
Director, National Tertiary Office

Transforming Education: Education’s role in the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations SDG Summit in 2023 marked the midway point of the Sustainable Development Goals, just 15% of which have been achieved to date. This article sounds a note of optimism and pragmatism, urging focus on action that will help transform education in Ireland and beyond. It stresses the need to make global citizenship education and education for sustainable development central to government policy.

Frank Geary
Director, Irish Development Education Association

Losing the Momentum

Exploring the narratives of disabled students during and after ‘lockdown learning’

Research findings by AHEAD suggest that blended learning can be beneficial for disabled students, primarily because of the autonomy, agency, and choice it offers. Many students with disabilities prospered during ‘lockdown learning’, and the return to in-person learning has affected this. The benefits and innovative teaching practices that became normative during lockdown learning should be incorporated into how Ireland responds to the continuous increase in disabled students accessing tertiary education.

Dr Richard Healy
Research and Policy, AHEAD

Breaking Barriers: Women Championing the OEM Engineering Apprenticeship

Women are increasingly embracing apprenticeship opportunities and forging new paths in the world of engineering. This short article shines a light on two such women, the first female graduates of the OEM Engineering Apprenticeship in Ireland. It highlights women’s strengths in a male-dominated discipline, the challenges they face, and the importance of opening up engineering as a career option for more young women.

Claire Rushe
Administration – OEM Engineering Apprenticeship, Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board

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