With points for most college courses set to increase this year because of a surge in demand for third-level places, the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI ) is reminding Leaving Cert students of the many craft-related career options available to them.
The 60,000 plus students who got their Leaving Certificate results are facing a significant increase in points for virtually all college courses. A tighter jobs market has driven up competition for places, with final CAO figures showing a four per cent increase in applications for level eight or higher degree courses.
However the Crafts Council of Ireland says it is important for students to remember that, with all the emphasis on points, there are numerous educational paths to a creative career. According to CCoI chief executive Úna Parsons, there is a wide range of careers available in the craft industry. Students could consider a future working with materials such as:
Metal – to become a jeweller, silversmith, goldsmith, blacksmith, or farrier with third level courses and apprenticeships of three to four years on offer.
Wood – to do woodturning, furniture design and furniture making, or basket making with apprenticeships of three to four years.
Clay - to train as a ceramicist, potter, ceramic artist, or designer with third level courses of three to four years.
Glass – to train as a glassmaker or glass artist with courses ranging from one year up to four years for specialist degree programmes.
Textiles – to become a textile artist/designer or a fashion designer with third level courses or apprenticeships of three to four years.
Craft related courses are at NQF (National Qualification Framework ) levels six to eight. Third level institutions that provide craft-related degree courses include: Galway Mayo Institute of Technology; Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT ); Crawford College of Art & Design (GMIT ) Galway and Letterfrack; Limerick Institute of Technology, (LIT ); Limerick School of Art and Design; The National College of Art and Design (NCAD ) in Dublin; and The University of Ulster.