New Format Further Education and Training (FET) Fair Takes place from 6-7 November

Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service launched its second FET Fair of the year this week.

With a new and improved format, focusing exclusively on its own Further Education and Training provision, the Fair is also taking place at a new time of the year, from 6-7 November. Having been held in January for the last fifteen years, moving it to its new November date cements a change of time for subsequent years.

Donegal ETB’s FET Fair remains the county’s number one event to explore education and training opportunities, attracting over one thousand adults and young people each year. It takes place again in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny over two sessions.

On Wednesday 6 November, from 7.00-9.00pm, the FET Fair is aimed exclusively at Leaving Certificate students and their parents/guardians, school guidance counsellors and Principals and at those currently working and seeking to upskill.

The number of school leavers choosing FET as their first preference is increasing steadily. The ETB’s FET staff will provide information on Post Leaving Certificate (PLC), specific skills training courses, traineeships and apprenticeships and explain first-hand what the benefits of FET are. Whether young people want to earn while they learn, fast track their way into employment, or need a stepping stone into third level education with nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, Donegal ETB has it covered.

Speaking about the evening session on 6 November, Donegal ETB’s Director of Schools, Dr Martin Gormley said, “It is important that students and parents consider Further Education and Training (FET) as a possible pathway for progression. Graduates from apprenticeships, FET courses and Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses are rated highly by employers in areas such as team-working, commercial awareness and entrepreneurial skills. Feedback from employers is that they are most satisfied with FET graduates’ computer skills; their ability to work effectively with others; verbal communication; numeracy; and written skills.

In terms of personal attributes, employers rate highly FET students’ work ethic; reliability; positive attitudes and ethical and social awareness. Many of the FET courses on offer now have increased participation in work placements and engaged learning opportunities. The modes of assessment used often have increased focus on student project work and problem-solving which is so relevant in the employment context.”

This evening session will also provide information on an exciting new initiative for those who are currently working. Skills to Advance can provide those currently in work and looking to upskill with free or part-funded part-time training opportunities from Levels 4-6. Skills for Work is another training initiative for those in work. The programme is particularly targeted at low skilled workers who, without the opportunity to participate in this training, may not have the confidence to embrace change in the workplace.

On Thursday 7 November from 10.00am-2.00pm, the Fair is open to those who are currently unemployed and want information on the wide range full and part-time education and training opportunities offered by Donegal ETB’s FET Service to help them get back into the workforce. Donegal ETB tutors and advisers will be available to talk through these opportunities. As the largest provider of FET in the county, the ETB offers a comprehensive range of opportunities with qualifications including QQI, City & Guilds and industry-specific certification that allow students to choose their next best step.

Those attending can try their hand at augmented reality welding or speak to current students to find out first-hand what it’s like to undertake an ETB FET course.

Donegal ETB’s Director of FET, Cróna Gallagher, said, “People should take the time on 6 and 7 November to find out how our FET Service can help them to go further in developing their skills and to find out about the many education and training options available throughout the county.”

Many of Donegal ETB’s programmes are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020. In 2018, over 11,000 FET students completed courses in more than 120 venues, making Donegal ETB the largest FET provider in the county, offering opportunities to retrain, upskill, get on the job work experience and progress onto further and higher education.

For more information please contact Donegal ETB’s Adult Guidance and Information Service on 0749178088 or email or visit them at 2nd Floor, McKendrick Place, Pearse Road, Letterkenny.

Further updates on the 2019 FET Fair can be found on Donegal ETB’s website ( and Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts (@DonegalETB) between now and the Fair.

Image credit: Sandra Buchanan
Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Services staff launch their 2019 FET Fair. Standing left-right are Treasa McGinley (TEL Coordinator), Lorraine Murray (Senior Apprenticeships Training Advisor), Guven Faracli (Contracted Training Manager), Aidan McCloskey (Basic Education Coordinator), Mairead Carlin (Assistant Training Manager), Vivienne Doherty (Back to Education Initiative County Coordinator) and Catherine Friel (Community Education Facilitator). Seated left-right: Colm Richardson (Assistant Training Manager), Cróna Gallagher (Director of FET), Martina Needham (Adult Education Officer) and Vinny McGroary (Area Training Manager).