Whether you are looking for a pathway to university, to trial a subject that interests you before committing to a four-year degree, or direct entry into employment, Further Education & Training can get you where you want to go after school.

The possibilities with FET are endless and can take you into a diverse range of exciting careers, through courses in areas such as engineering technology, animal care, cloud computing, games design, cyber security, science and more.

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Post Leaving Cert Courses (PLCs)

Typically lasting 1 to 2 years, Post-Leaving Cert Courses or PLCs are full-time programmes leading to an award on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) at Levels 5 or 6.

PLC courses are available in every county and are provided through 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) - a smart option if you are not ready or able to move away from home to further your studies straight after school.

These courses can be a great stepping-stone to university and research suggests that studying a PLC course first can prepare you better for going into university, with a greater chance of ultimately completing your degree.

If you’re still not sure of your next step after school, there is a vast range of pre-university courses areas such as science, arts, engineering and law to help get you started on your dream career.

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Tertiary Programmes

Apply to degree programmes outside of the Points sysytem and start your degree study in a Further Education and Training Campus or College of your local Education and Training Board and then progress to continue your degree studies in university.

Tertiary Education Programmes are co-designed and co-delivered by Higher Education Institutions and the Education and Training Boards to provide seamless transitioning pathways from Further Education to Higher Education.

The National Tertiary Office is a partnership between SOLAS and the HEA. 

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Traineeships combine classroom education and hands-on work experience and are run by 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) across the country, together with employers and industry representative bodies.

There are over 75 traineeship programmes available across Ireland, free of charge, with each traineeship including a minimum of 30 per cent on-the-job learning.

Lasting anywhere between six and 20 months, depending on the industry and qualification, traineeships also lead to an award at (NFQ) Levels 4-6, or equivalent.

Traineeships can take you into a range of exciting careers in areas such as business, engineering, hospitality, media, tourism, finance, construction and more.

Not all traineeships will be accepting new applicants at any given time, and more information on which traineeships are accepting applicants can be found by searching current openings online.

For more information contact: traineeship@solas.ie or your local ETB.

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Apprenticeships offer the chance to earn and learn, as well as giving clear links to employment in sought-after trades such as plumbing and electrical, as well as newer post-2016 apprenticeships in the likes of biopharma, engineering, finance, hospitality, sales and ICT.

Running between two and four years in duration, all national apprenticeships lead to a qualification on the NFQ from Level 5 up to 10 as well as invaluable on-the-job professional experience with a great employer. Offering great flexibility, apprentices undertake a part of their learning in the workplace and the rest in an educational setting.

With more than 8,400 employers approved to train apprentices, ranging in size from micro-businesses to multi-nationals, learners can apply to start throughout the year.

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You can now explore information on Further Education & Training courses and Apprenticeships at cao.ie/options.

More information can be also be found at fetchcourses.ie.