Further Education and Training – A Springboard for Leaving Cert Students

Each person’s story of how they found their career is unique.

For leaving cert students, this period can be tough, trying to decide which path they would like to follow.

Some may know exactly what they want to do and where the want to do it. Others may have lots of ideas but struggle to pin down just one. And some might not have any ideas about what it is that they want to do just yet. In further education and training (FET), we know each of these leaving certs states and have provided the training and education they needed to take their first steps beyond school.

From engineering and science, to photography and costume design, to accountancy and business, we have helped thousands of students to discover the path into their future careers.

Here are just a few…

Clare Cullen – World Skills Champion Finalist

“I didn’t even fill out a CAO application. There was no need to – I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to study, and that was Blackrock Further Education Institute.”

In 2011, Clare Cullen represented Ireland at the WorldSkills Competition in London – the Olympics for skills while studying Body and Beauty Therapy. From an early age, she knew exactly what she wanted to do and her FET course saw her quickly rise to the top of her field in Ireland and internationally.

You can read Clare’s story here.

Wayne O’Connor – Reporter with The Sunday Independent

“It was like this back door into the course I had wanted to do from the very beginning, a door that just wasn’t there before. I’d had no idea that this was a possibility. So, I applied, interviewed for a spot in the course and got accepted.”

Wayne O’Connor knew what he wanted to do leaving school but didn’t think it was an option for him. A FET course proved to be the answer. We spoke to him recently about his route to writing for one of the country’s biggest selling newspapers. You can read about his journey here.

Wayne O’Connor. Photo by Steve Humphreys 18th February 2020

Al Higgins – One of Ireland Top Commercial Photographers

“Doing a FET course was amazing, it allowed me to take a year and sample what I was interested in before blindly dedicating three or four years to a degree. The CAO process is deeply flawed in this regard. At 17 it’s impossible to really know what you’ll be suited to.”

Al began his illustrious career with Art & Design Portfolio course in Waterford College of Further Education, setting him on his path to success. You can read Al’s story here.

Danay Berhane – International Dairy Chef of the Year

“When I got the results, I knew straight away it wasn’t going to be enough to get into Cork Institute of Technology. I was gutted and felt lost about what to do next, but a friend told me about a Professional Cookery course at the College of Commerce in Cork. I figured I had nothing to lose – so I applied.”

After a Leaving Cert that didn’t go his way, Danay Berhane started his career with a FET course, leading him to international competitions and a job at one of Ireland’s newest Michelin Star restaurants. Find out about the path he took here.

You can read all of these stories and many more at https://www.thisisfet.ie/.

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