New Format Further Education and Training (FET) Fair Takes Place Next Week

Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Fair takes place next week from 6-7 November in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny.

The Fair has a new and improved format that focuses exclusively on Donegal ETB’s own Further Education and Training provision. The Fair is also taking place at a new time of the year – having been held in January for the last fifteen years, it has moved to a new November date to cement a change of time for subsequent years.

The number of school leavers choosing FET as their first preference is increasing steadily. With this in mind, the Fair session on Wednesday 6 November, from 7.00-9.00pm, is for Leaving Certificate students and their parents/guardians, school guidance counsellors and Principals.

ETB’s FET staff will provide information on Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) and specific skills training courses, traineeships and apprenticeships and explain first-hand what the benefits of FET are. Whether young people need a stepping stone into third level education, want to earn while they learn or fast track their way into employment, with nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, Donegal ETB covers all those options.

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.

He said, “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.”

A local parent has told how her son followed the earn and learn route by completing an apprenticeship and finished his qualification with €20,000 in savings after four years, while her daughter went to third level and finished her qualification costing €45,000.

This Wednesday evening session is also for those currently working and seeking to upskill. Information will be provided on an exciting new initiative for those who are currently working called Skills to Advance.

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. Information will also be available on Skills for Work, another training initiative for those in work. This 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 or studying a course and want information on the wide range of full and part-time education and training opportunities offered by Donegal ETB’s FET Service to help them get back into the workforce or progress to the next level. Donegal ETB tutors, advisers and current students will be available to talk through these opportunities and experiences. 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.

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 Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@DonegalETB) between now and the Fair.