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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Over 90% of PLC course

Over 90% of PLC course provision is within the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) sector.Over 50% of all participants are over 21 years, and accordingly the courses are an important reentryroute to learning for adults, as well as catering for some 18% of all school leavers each year.While the courses offer an alternative to programmes available in higher education, certain PLCsare accepted as bridges into university education through e.g. the Higher Education Links scheme.They can also provide an alternative route to third level education in the Institutes of Technologyfor those who have completed the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme. (See Section: 5.3). In2009-10 there were approximately 30,528 42 persons enrolled on full-time PLC courses. Theprogramme is the largest non-tertiary, post secondary-level, initial vocational education programmein Ireland.One of the main publicly-funded providers of post-secondary vocational training is FÁS theTraining and Employment Authority. While many of FÁS courses cater for young persons receivinginitial vocational training, these courses are also open to all age groups. Both Specific Skillstraining courses (SST) and Traineeships are designed to enable participants to directly enter thelabour market. Traineeships involve employers, union representatives and FÁS working together todevise occupational-specific training programmes for jobseekers. The training content andoccupational standards are based on consultation with employers and lead to certification byFETAC at levels 3-5 on the NQF. Traineeships combine structured on-the-job training with formaloff- the-job tuition in a FÁS Training Centre. In host companies trainees are assigned a mentor orskills coach who supervises workplace training. Traineeships vary in duration from six to twentyfourmonths, depending on the scope of the curriculum, the skill requirement of the occupation andthe entry level of the trainees. Example of these programmes include, retail assistants, beautytherapists, pharmacy and legal secretary traineeships. In 2010 4,371 43 persons completedtraineeships, an increase from 2,228 (49%) in 2008.SST courses concentrate on high-level technical skills and soft skills (e.g. communications, teamworking,career planning). The duration of these full-time courses varies, but usually they last forfour to six months. In 2010, 20,618 44 persons completed SST courses, while another 3,789completed bridging/foundation-type courses 45 . The Further Education and Training Awards Council(FETAC) award a ‘Specific Skills Certificate’ at levels 4/5 for SST participants and the ‘NationalSkills Certificate’ for Traineeships. These are placed at levels 4, 5 and 6 on the National Frameworkof Qualifications. They do not lead to direct entry into third-level education.IVET is also provided through the following publicly-funded sectoral agencies:• Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, provides full-time day andblock release courses, for trainees, in the hotel, catering and tourism industry. These coursesare mainly for young entrants pursuing careers in tourism and related hospitalityoccupations. The trainees are generally aged from 17 to 24 years, and the courses rangefrom one to four years, depending on whether they are full-time, block or day-releasecourses. Formal instruction is mainly delivered in Institutes of Technology and it iscomplemented by periods of industry work experience. Despite the reduction in employmentlevels in the sector over the past few years, there remained a demand, although reduced, forskilled staff in specific tourism and hospitality disciplines. As a consequence, Fáilte Irelandcontinued to provide accredited training and educational support to both school leavers andadults seeking employment in the tourism industry. In total, 2,600 persons participated - 650on skills programmes and 1,997 in college-based programmes, in 2009. 46 The latter courses42 Department of Education and Skills Statistics 2009/2010.43FÁS Annual Report 201044FÁS Annual Report 201045FÁS Annual Report 201046Fáilte Ireland Annual Report 2009.54

were accredited by both FETAC and the Higher Education and Training Authority-HETACat levels 6-8 on the NFQ.• Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, provides training for youngpeople wishing to pursue a career in agriculture, horticulture and equine studies. Enrolmentsin the seven Teagasc colleges and twelve Regional Education Centres increased by 4% in2009. A total of 809 students enrolled in further education programmes at colleges whilethe total overall number participating in these programmes was 2,180. Teagasc also delivers11 higher level education programmes in conjunction with various higher level institutions.A total of 279 students enrolled in higher level programmes in 2009 while the overallnumber participating in these programmes was 1,042. Participants in further educationprogrammes can transfer into higher level courses if they achieve a merit or distincton andall higher level students can progress to level 8 on the NQF and beyond. In 2009, 94students progressed from further level programmes to higher level programmes. A total of2,651 participants in Teagasc programmes were put forward for FETAC awards in 2009,this comprised 1,288 Major Awards, 375 Special Purpose Awards and 988 Minor Awards. 47• Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Fisheries Board, is responsible for the developmentof the sea fishing industry. It has responsibility for all aspects of the industry’s trainingneeds, including promoting awareness of careers within the seafood industry and in humanresource development. Total training provision in 2009 was 1,570 of which 867 peopleattended Safety at Sea courses; 264 attended Radio communications courses; 242 attendedModular FETAC Certificate courses and 197 attended Department of Transport certificatecourses. 48• Údarás Na Gaeltachta is a regionally-based economic development agency, whichoperates in Irish-speaking (Gaeltacht) areas. It provides education and training which areconsidered core elements of the agency’s development strategy for the Gaeltacht areas.Collaborative initiatives have commenced with a number of third-level institutions, with anemphasis on third-level education through Irish. At initial VET level there are four mainpriorities aimed at raising skill levels and improving educational achievements at individualor community level. These are: management development and summer work experienceschemes; apprentice development and third level education provision through Irish. 49Other forms of initial vocational training include training for new entrants into the civilservice and public service such as the defence and police forces, and for the professions suchas accountancy and law. Table 23 overleaf sets out the main types of non-tertiary IVET.Table 22 below shows the number of students enrolled in post-secondary non-tertiary education byorientation. There is no education/training classified at ISCED level 4 Gen in Ireland. All studentsinvolved in apprenticeship, PLC courses, traineeships, SST training and those undertaking trainingat sectoral level and IVET for the professions and public services are categorised at ISCED level 4Voc.47BIM Annual Report 200948Teagasc Annual Report 200949Údarás Na Gaeltachta Annual Report 2009.55

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