Every time I read this article by Katherine Donnelly in the Irish Independent, and it reminds me of the last time I raised the issue about the lack of understanding and respect for Further Education – Apprenticeships and PLC courses. (See link at the end of this piece – Westmeath Examiner October 2017.)           “One of Ireland’s most successful businessmen says apprenticeships need to be seen in a different light by students and teachers, and not as a “fall-back option” to the CAO. Martin McVicar, co-founder and managing director of the world-leading Co Monaghan company Combilift, says the perception around apprenticeships needs to change.”                       

Working as a Career Coach, I see the reluctance of some educators, parents and students to engage with or promote, further education routes such as PLC and Apprenticeships courses. I am often disappointed to see the attitude displayed, that this route to education is ‘the last resort’, and only to be looked at, if the student does not get their degree choice. We need to educate people – including the educators – to promote further education courses side by side with degree courses, as an equal route to education choices and career opportunities. Each student needs to look at their own abilities and their learning styles, in addition to their interests.

These attitudes are not new, and many of us work against the tide to promote the many and varied education opportunities, to second level students and their parents. All education choices are valuable, Degree – Diploma – Further Education PLC and Apprenticeship courses. As long as the course you complete is accredited, and encourages you to learn at your pace, complimenting your learning style, then you have made the right education choice for you.

Read an article written by Carl O’Brien, in the Irish Times about the influences on career choices.  “Mothers are the single biggest influence on students choosing their career options even though they may be out of touch with developments in work and education” h

Education is about opening your mind to all possibilities and opportunities, all the while understanding that learning does not begin and end with one qualification.

Career Coaching Matters.
January 18th, 2019.

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