Sunday 30 April 2017

4,000 courses in further education

Almost 2,500 students are celebrating a college offer today after the CAO issued its second round (Stock photo)
Almost 2,500 students are celebrating a college offer today after the CAO issued its second round (Stock photo)

Aoife Walsh

Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are a popular outlet for school-leavers, who use them either to gain essential workplace skills and/or as a route to college.

The one- or two-year courses offered in colleges of further education (FE), run by local education and training boards (ETBs), are an excellent option.

Course choice varies between colleges, but they cover a broad spectrum that includes child care, business, technology, horticulture, architectural technology, pre-nursing, pre-science and pre-engineering.

One benefit of a PLC is that it allows students to explore an area of interest before deciding whether or not to commit to a four-year degree.

There are about 700 courses on the CAO that will consider any further education courses as a basis for entry, subject to the student attaining certain results.

Students should ask the college of further educaton about these progession routes.

FE colleges also have links to universities in the UK.

Students often perform better at PLC level than at Leaving Cert., as they flourish in a college environment and concentrate on an area of passion.

There are plenty of options available, but they are filling up quickly, so anyone interested should check them out. Leaving Cert "points" do not feature in the selection process.

FE colleges also offer other courses - including traineeships. There are about 4,000 courses in all and, for the first time, they are available to view on a hub called fetchcourses.ie, a website developed by the further education and authority, SOLAS, and Education & Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).

Irish Independent

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