Solas – time for further education and training to shine

Further Education and Training (FET) can have such a positive impact on the lives of individual learners, businesses and communities. It is time for FET and the opportunities it brings to be recognised and valued. 

This narrative is starting to be shared and people are starting to appreciate the massive impact FET can have. No matter where you are in your education or your career, FET courses offer flexible, life-long learning.

A new campaign aimed at showcasing further education and training kicked off with an official launch by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, at an event recently where a panel of FET graduates including Harry McCann, Entrepreneur and Managing Director of Trendster Media; Shauna Keogh, Emmy-nominated TV producer and director; and costume designer, Kate Stitt shared their FET experience. 

 The campaign, run by SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, is centred around a new website, thisisfet.ie, which sets out to showcase stories of people who have completed FET courses and the wide arrange of career options that exist for people who undertake such courses. 

It is designed to speak directly to and engage with young people, to show that there are options available to them when considering their post-secondary plan and that FET is an option worth considering. Stories of learners, graduates and employers about the positive impact FET has had on their careers and businesses are shared. Information about the diverse range of FET courses can also be found on the website. 

An example of some of the success stories featured on thisisfet.ie are:

• Danay Berhane, who has always wanted to be a chef. Following a ‘Professional Cookery’ course in Cork College of Commerce, he graduated from CIT and was crowned the 2019 Dairy Chef of the Year competition in Paris, and now works in Adare Manor; 

• Kate Stitt, who following a degree in Fine Art, worked in retail. Following a ‘Nationwide’ episode on the costume design, she enrolled at Inchicore College of Further Education and has just graduated top of her class; and 

• Former event manager Laura Mulkeen, who always had a passion for craft-focused work. She completed welding courses in Donegal ETB and now works as a coded pipe welder. 

These stories and many more are available to read in full on thisisfet.ie

A highlight of the campaign and in keeping with the theme of shining a light on FET, were the light projections profiling FET learners and graduates that lit up some of Ireland’s most iconic buildings including The Rock of Cashel, Tipperary, Barnado’s Square, Dame Street, Dublin and Cork College of Commerce, Cork City. A banner also draped Liberty Hall in Dublin. 

FET, offers a wide variety of life-long education options to anyone over 16, and includes apprenticeships, traineeships, Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses, community and adult education as well as core literacy and numeracy services. 

FET courses and programmes are provided through the Education and Training Board network throughout the country as well as through other local providers including online through SOLAS’ eCollege. 

Through the extensive ETB network, FET has a presence in every town and every community in Ireland. 

Not only does this mean that FET is easy to access, it also means that ETBs are close to and responsive to the needs of the community.

FET is for everyone and is in every community in Ireland.

Further information on FET and the ‘This is FET’ campaign can be found at: www.thisisFET.ie

Facebook: #ThisisFET; Twitter: @thisisfet