The further education sector in Ireland is stronger than ever and offers great opportunities for students in a variety of ways. Further education offers a range of learning experiences such as apprenticeships and traineeships, workplace learning, and community education.
Among the opportunities on offer are post Leaving Cert (PLC ) courses.
Galway Technical Institute is the largest provider of PLC programmes in the west of Ireland. The institute caters for more than 1,000 learners annually, and the benefits of completing a course here are consistently positive and productive.
A PLC course is a one or two-year course that offers participants a QQI Level 5 or Level 6 certificate, which can be transferred into CAO points just like the Leaving Certificate.
GTI has developed successful collaborations with ITs and universities where progression links are firmly established and continue to be developed.
GTI offers 55 courses across 10 departments, with nine new courses at QQI Level 5 launching for 2019/2020. New courses include international trade, digital illustration and motion graphics, interior design, music performance and sound, beauty sales advisor with make-up, upholstery and restoration skills, cabinet making and design, and fashion design, dressmaking, and millinery.
GTI has a particular focus on active and collaborative learning, enabling students to use and analyse information in new and creative ways and to apply their learning to new challenges and situations. The institute is committed to helping students transfer their learning to real life contexts and actively engages in collaborative based learning activities that extend outside the classroom and into the world.
"For many students the leap from second level into the vastness of third level can be a daunting one, even when a young person is sure of what they wish to study," said GTI principal Geraldine Gibbons. "More students are now taking an opportunity to explore all options available to them in the further education and training sector. Courses which provide a blend of work placements, practical and applied learning are capturing the attention of both students and employers. Furthermore, further education courses qualify for SUSI grants where fees are a fraction of that in the third level sector."
According to Alison Ward, deputy principal and guidance counsellor at Galway Technical Institute: "The FE sector can offer a vast range of options. The qualifications gained from a QQI course will enable you to apply for places in Irish and UK universities and institutes of technology."
GTI’s programmes are vocationally oriented training courses that continue to rise in popularity. Quality has improved and for some jobs, employers place as much – if not more – value on PLC graduates. Visit www.gti.ie for further information.