Applying for Further Education and Training - A simple 'How To'

Applying for Further Education and Training - A simple 'How To'

With the CAO ‘change of mind’ deadline next week, many Leaving Cert students will be thinking about their options again and it’s a good time to remember that the CAO is not the only option available.

Further Education and Training (FET) courses are open for applications. From business and accounting, engineering and aircraft maintenance to costume design and culinary studies, there are thousands of options for students in FET to develop the skills and gain the qualifications they need to secure a job in their chosen field or progress to further or higher education.

There are almost 30,000 places on PLC courses available each year, as well as a range of apprenticeships and traineeships, across every county in Ireland.  


How to Apply – Post Leaving Cert Courses (PLC)

PLC courses are designed to include practical and academic study alongside work experience. The qualification can lead to employment but can also be used as a springboard to further or higher education and training.

Courses are delivered in a wide range of subjects, such as:

  • Business studies,
  • Childcare,
  • Community Care,
  • Computing and Technology,
  • E-commerce,
  • Engineering,
  • Horticulture,
  • Multimedia Production,
  • Science,
  • Sport,
  • Performing Arts,
  • Equestrian Studies,
  • Hotel and Catering, and
  • Leisure and Tourism.



Each PLC course will differ in their acceptance requirements. Some may include education level requirements, interview processes or previous experience, for example.

The requirements are set out for each individual course in the course listing on or from the relevant college.  


Steps to Apply

1. Create a Account

Simply create a quick account (this take one minute). You can do so here.

2. Find the Course

Find the course that you would like to do. Maybe you have an idea, or maybe you need to browse the options. You can find out more about the course that interests you from the individual college, whose website link will be included in the course listing on If you’re looking for inspiration check out our FET graduate stories on!

FET courses are listed on Use the simple course finder to search the sector, type of course and/or location.

Just type ‘engineering’, ‘science’ or ‘childcare’ for example.

3. Complete an Application

Once the right course has been found, simply follow the application steps required for a particular course.

For some courses, applicants may be invited for an interview to assess their suitability for a particular course. 

4. Accept an Offer

Once an application has been made in full, the course provider will assess the suitability of the candidate and send acceptances to successful applicants.

Details will be provided on how to enrol and when the course will begin.

Then it is over to the student to get everything they can from the experience to take their first steps in their chosen career!


How to Apply - Traineeships

A Traineeship combines learning in the classroom and experience in the workplace, giving participants the opportunity to develop cutting edge skills and knowledge on the job. All traineeships lead to an award at NFQ Levels 4-6, or equivalent, are six to 20 months in duration and are delivered through local ETBs.

There are currently more than 75 traineeship programmes available around the country across a range of industry areas including aviation, IT, animation, hospitality and digital marketing. More information is available on with a list of available traineeships on


Traineeships are open to anyone over 16 years old. Eligibility criteria may vary among traineeship types so it’s best to check the eligibility criteria in the individual traineeship listing on or from the relevant ETB. 

Steps to apply

Applying for a traineeship can be done online at  So similar to the process for a PLC course just follow the steps above!


How to Apply – Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship provides the opportunity to earn while you learn, opening up exciting and rewarding careers, with learning grounded in the practical experience of undertaking a real job.

Combining on-the-job employer-based training with off-the-job training in training centres and  colleges around Ireland, successful completion of an apprenticeship can lead to a NFQ Levels 6-9, or equivalent qualification.


An apprentice must be over 16 years old although each apprenticeship varies in age and educational requirements so its best to check the details in the specific apprenticeship listing on

Steps to Apply

1. Decide on the type of apprenticeship that interests you.

It’s a really exciting time for apprenticeship with over 50 types of apprenticeships available and more new apprenticeships in new industry sectors being developed. Apprenticeships range from the more traditional craft apprenticeships such as Electrical, Construction, Engineering and Motor, to newer apprenticeships in areas such as ICT, Biopharma, Hospitality, and Logistics to name but a few.

Details of all the types of apprenticeships and what they involve are available on

2. Find an Employer

To begin an apprenticeship, you must be employed by a SOLAS approved employer who will employ you for the duration of the apprenticeship programme, which is generally between two to four years.

Employers advertise apprenticeships on as well as other recruitment websites. It is also worth contacting local employers to see if they are recruiting apprentices.

3. Apply

Once you have been employed by an approved employer, your employer must register you as an apprentice.  To do this, the employer should contact the Apprenticeship section in your local ETB.


Then it is over to the apprentice to get everything they can from both the on-the-job and off-the-job training experiences to take their first steps in their chosen career!


To find out just how many opportunities and paths there are to take, students can get inspired by some of our learner stories here or search the range of courses on


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