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CAO website to feature more career options for school-leavers


Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

More career choices for school-leavers are likely to feature on the CAO website in the autumn.

It’s all part of plans to improve visibility of all post-school study and training options and broaden the focus beyond the CAO degree route.

Last autumn, the CAO website introduced a dedicated page with links to further education and apprenticeships, although   for these opportunities is not done via the CAA

Further and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said that he hoped that links traineeships – a combination of on-the-job training and study, but of shorter duration than apprenticeships – would be added to the website later this year.

Mr Harris was speaking at the launch of proposals for a unified tertiary education system to align the further education and training, higher education and research and innovation sectors.

It follows the recent agreement by the Government on a new funding policy for third-level, which will be linked to reform measures.

One key ambition is to break down barriers and create better pathways between further education and higher education.

Mr Harris set out his vision at the first meeting of the Funding our Future Implementation Group, which is co- chaired by Mr Harris, Professor Anne Looney and Professor Tom Collins.

He said he wanted a system, where irrespective of whether a learner entered into further or higher education or a research career, the system responded to their individual talents, ambitions and motivations.

It would mean further and higher education working together to create joint third level programmes, higher education colleges ring-fencing more places for students in further education, increasing availability of further education and training and higher education part-time and online programmes, he said.

“The student must be at the centre of all we do and this work will ensure their pathway is as smooth as possible. This will also help our economy address the significant skills shortages we face.”

A consultation process has opened up at www.gov.ie/unifiedsystem where any individual or group can submit their views in response to a number of open ended questions.

It will be followed by a series of targeted stakeholder engagements and dialogue, building on the information gathered in the first phase.

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