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Further Education and Training

Further Education

Further Education covers education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system. There are number of providers of Further and Adult Education and Training and a wide variety of schools, organisations and institutions, are involved in the delivery of continuing education and training for young school leavers and adults.

Organisational Restructuring 

  • The Education and Training Boards Act 2013 was passed in May 2013.  The Act provides for the dissolution of Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and for the establishment of the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) through a process involving the merger of some of the 33 existing VECs. 
  • The Further Education and Training Act 2013 was signed into law in July 2013. The Act provides for the establishment of SOLAS and the dissolution of FÁS. The legislation also provides for the gradual transfer of FÁS training centres and training staff to the newly formed Education and Training Boards.

Establishment of ETBs

  • Arising from the commencement of the Education and Training Boards Act, the 16 ETBs were established on 1st July 2013. 
  • Upon establishment, the ETBs had responsibility for the delivery of primary, post primary and further education in line with their predecessor VECs.  The transfer of former FÁS training functions would occur on a phased basis.

Establishment of SOLAS

SOLAS was established on 27 October 2013, bringing about the dissolution of FÁS. SOLAS will work with the ETBs to support the development of appropriate further education and training programmes and curricula and the sourcing of further education and training interventions from the private, public and not for profit sector.

Adult Education and Training

Adult Education is set out in Learning for Life - White Paper on Adult Education, published in 2000. A range of education and training is provided by various organisations aimed at upskilling and reskilling people who are unemployed.  Providing skills for work is a priority.

National Framework of Qualifications

Certification in the Further and Higher Education and Training Sector is usually in alignment with the National Framework of Qualifications – an awards framework of 10 levels which is aligned to the European Framework of Qualifications.  Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) quality assures institutions of further and higher education and training, validates educational programmes and makes awards to learners.

Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

The main provider of further and adult education and training are the Education and Training Boards (ETBs).   

Full-Time Programmes in Further Education

  • Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) Courses
  • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
  • Youthreach

Part-Time Programmes in Further Education

  • Back To Education Initiative (BTEI)
  • Adult Literacy
  • Community Education