Your Future is Bright with Further Education & Training and Apprenticeships

Your Future is Bright with Further Education & Training and Apprenticeships

As Leaving Cert students across the country start thinking about their next steps after school, it’s important to consider all options before making career decisions.

Further Education and Training (FET) and Apprenticeships offer smart options at local level to students, whether they are looking for a pathway to university, breathing space to trial a subject that interests them before committing to a four-year degree, or direct entry into employment.

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

FET is for everyone, with courses available in every county, enabling learners not yet ready or able to move away from home to further their studies locally, without having to relocate or face long commutes.

For those unsure of what should come next after school, FET provides a vast range of pre-university courses areas like science, arts, engineering, law and nursing. Research suggests that studying a FET course first can prepare students better for going into university, with a greater chance of ultimately completing their degree.

SOLAS, together with the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) across Ireland have driven significant change, growing opportunities for learners.

Complementing the highly valued craft apprenticeships in the likes of plumbing and electrical, apprenticeships have diversified into new areas such as insurance, financial services, and software development, where learners earn while they learn from day one.

This year, students can explore 66 apprenticeships and over 1,200 FET courses, including Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses via the CAO portal, an important starting point for students to consider all their options. Just go to to find out more.

Andrew Brownlee is CEO at Solas, the Further Education & Training Authority