- 09 Sep 19
While many across the nation have spent the last fortnight celebrating the arrival of the CAO results, there are still plenty of options available to those who haven’t settled on a clear plan for their future.
In 2019 there are more paths than ever towards the career of your dreams. Colleges of Further Education offer a superb portfolio of courses to those wishing to gather more skills before joining the workplace or going on to other third-level courses. In this Hot Press education special, we focus on some of the best Colleges of Further Education in Ireland. We also cast our eye over some of the more intriguing courses available. And for those who want on-the-job experience in a specific trade, we reflect on the unprecedented number of apprenticeships now available in Ireland. That there are so many attractive options for school-leavers and mature students alike to progress is a real boon. The choice, increasingly, is yours to make.
BALLYFERMOT COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION
269 Ballyfermot Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin
Tel: 01 626 9421, Email: [email protected]
A leader in media courses since it first opened its doors in 1979, Ballyfermot College of Further Education is a creative, innovative and student-centred college. All courses are open to Leaving Certificate students as well as to mature applicants. From animation, media, film, art and music, to social care, business, and travel and tourism, BCFE offers a wide range of top-class one and two-year, Level 5 and 6 programmes. In addition, BCFE has three top-up degree programmes in Media Production; Animation; and Computer Games. Well known as the Rock School, Ballyfermot has a great history of producing Irish musical talent, both onstage and behind the scenes. Mundy and Damien Dempsey are BDFE graduates; Damien Rice’s manager Bernadette Barrett was a graduate from the first ever music management course; so also was one Róisin Dwyer, now of the National Concert Hall!
The team at BCFE strike a keen balance between academic understanding and hands-on experience. Subjects include the Music Business in the 21st Century, Music Industry Event Management and Marketing the Creative Arts. Even while studying, students receive practical grounding in organising, promoting and delivering events. There are also key links with academic institutions abroad, reflecting the global nature of the music industry. “BCFE has an excellent reputation of providing quality first choice courses,” Cecilia Munro, BCFE Principal says, “which prepare students for employment, or further or higher education progression within their chosen career area. Students are educated and trained by highly qualified staff who have relevant industry experience.”
Nora Twomey, creative director and animation director with the Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon, is a graduate of the higher national diploma in Classical & Computer Animation course in Ballyfermot. Nora co-directed The Secret Of Kells and Song Of The Sea, before setting out on her own to direct The Breadwinner. Unbelievably, Nora is the seventh graduate of BCFE to be nominated for an Oscar. That is some track record!
DUNDRUM COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION
Main Street, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Tel: 01 298 5412, Email: [email protected]
Many students leaving secondary school may be unsure as to how they want to progress in their career, or what subjects they’d like to pursue in third level education. Whether you are a school leaver, an adult wishing to up-skill to re-enter the labour market, or an international student, CFE Dundrum offer courses that you can tailor-make to your own interests. Located in the heart of Dundrum, their range of professional programmes offer valuable certification, progression opportunities and job-related skills that are extremely useful when looking ahead – whether to the world of work or continued studies in third-level education.
At CFE Dundrum, the unique modular curriculum meets all national standards – and makes it much easier for you to study the subjects of particular interest to you. Many of the courses also offer apprenticeships and on-the-job learning. Some of the huge range of subjects available to study include: Art, Craft and Design, Psychology & Social Studies, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Gardening & Landscape Design, Human Resource Management, Computer Science and Social Media & Digital Marketing.
DUN LAOGHAIRE FURTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTE
17 Cumberland Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin
Tel: 01 280 9676, Email: [email protected]
Located within walking distance of the picturesque Dun Laoghaire Pier, DFEI provides Further Education and Training (FET) courses and has experience in delivering a diverse range of programmes such as: Post Leaving Certificate, Apprenticeships, Labour Market Activation Courses and part-time Evening classes. Courses are dynamic, meet specialist standards and are aimed at providing students with the knowledge and skills to build a satisfying career, or to progress on to higher education. The college offers programmes in the fields of Animal Health Care; Arts, Business & Humanities; Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths; Craft, Design & Construction; Community Healthcare & Nursing; and Film, Journalism, Radio & Sound. At their evening courses, you can study everything from Beekeeping to Event Production and Japanese. DFEI also benefits from some high-profile industry links, and students can avail of trips to tech-giants Google and Facebook to receive first hand information on, and insights into, the latest industry trends in both software development and technical solutions.
AND NOW FOR SOME INTERESTING & UNUSUAL COURSES!
School of Tourism, Letterkenny Institute Of Technology
Port Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Tel: 074 918 6000, Email: [email protected]
With a wealth of incredible natural beauty and historic heritage attractions vieing for attention, it’s no surprise that the biggest industry we have in Ireland is tourism. It sustains not only our largest cities, but also rural towns and villages. In terms of numbers, it is more important to the Irish economy than agriculture, construction, financial services and IT. At the vanguard of education in this sector is Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s School of Tourism. For nearly 50 years the school has been producing skilled graduates, ready for the tourism industry in both Ireland and abroad. They offer a range of courses, from certificate programmes to degree-level qualifications in subjects like Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Tourism, Food Science & Technology, and in many industry-based programmes and preparatory programmes enabling students to access higher education. Recently, the School of Tourism was shortlisted in the category of ‘Best Cookery School’, in the 2017 Restaurant Association of Ireland National Awards.
School of Mechanical & Design Engineering
TU Dublin, Kevin Street, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 4023000, Email: [email protected]
The aviation industry is one of Ireland’s biggest success stories. However you feel about Ryanair, it’s undeniable that they have become a world leader amongst airlines. Employment within the industry has quadrupled in the last decade alone and, with passengers due to double by the year 2030, it shows no signs of slowing down. TU Dublin offer a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Aviation Technology at their school of Mechanical Design and Engineering. Here, students learn the ins and outs of the aviation business, from Materials Hardware & Maintenance Practices, to Aerodynamics, Aircraft Engines, Thermo-fluids, Aviation Legislation and Airline Operations. For all we know, the next Michael O’Leary is marking it down as his first choice subject in 2019.
SO WHAT ABOUT...APPRENTICESHIPS?
The numbers of post-secondary students in certified apprenticeship programmes has almost doubled since 2015. This is a good thing. In 2018, 15,373 people were enrolled in apprenticeship schemes, with more than a third of that number registering in 2018 alone. Apprenticeships have become a very popular method for companies to ensure that the incoming workforce has the skills necessary to succeed, but they also provide apprentices with an opportunity to earn while they learn, making them a more affordable way to progress from secondary school to the workplace. This year, the Irish Government increased its commitment to higher and further education and training to the tune of €4.5 million. Part of the Project Ireland 2040 scheme, this investment will be spread across nine Institutes of Technology and the brand new TU Dublin. It brings the total funding allocated to the modernisation of craft apprenticeship programmes up to more than €23 million since 2017.
While familiar apprenticeships in sectors like construction and mechanics are as popular as ever, there is an ever-growing number of apprenticeships in ‘white-collar’ industries like Accounting, Insurance and International Finance Services. (See ifsireland.com for more). There are also apprenticeship routes to employment in Ireland’s booming tech sector. ICT Associate Professional is a new national apprenticeship programme employing a ‘learning by doing’ approach to tech skills. Over a two year period, the programme combines college-based learning with on-the-job application, leading to an industry recognised award. (Visit fit.ie for more information).
SO WHO’S IN CHARGE, EH?
Solas is the state organisation charged with the responsibility of funding, planning and co-ordinating Further Education and Training in Ireland. They recently launched a major expansion project, Generation Apprenticeship. They aim to more than double the number of learners, of all ages and backgrounds, taking the apprenticeship route towards employment. The ‘earn-while-you-learn’ model is a great way to develop work-ready skills, while getting invaluable practical workplace experience.
Solas apprenticeships are industry-led by carefully selected industry leaders and education partners. They lead to Level 5–10 Awards on the National Framework of Qualifications. They tend to last between 2–4 years with a minimum of 50% of that time gaining practical experience through on-the-job learning. The other 50% is spent learning the theory of the craft or practice at an education or training centre.
Some of the key industries involved in the programme are: Engineering, Finance, ICT, Hospitality and Food, Mechanics, Logistics, Construction, Electrical and Biopharmachem. Examples of courses are: Laboratory Technician, Wood Manufacturing and Fishing, Aircraft Mechanics, Manufacturing Technology, Insurance Practitioner, Commis Chef, Butcher, Cybersecurity and Motor Mechanics
• SOLAS, Block 1, Castleforbes House, Castelforbes Road, D1 Tel: 01 533 2500, Email: [email protected] Web: solas.ie