PLC Open Day Season is here

January 9, 2018

Attend an Open Day at a College of Further Education near you and find out how a PLC (Post Leaving Certificate) Programme could be the right course for you.

CDETB has 16 Colleges of Further Education across the city holding Open Days throughout January and February so check out the one nearest to you now.

Approximately 32,000 learners are currently enrolled in Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, the largest component of full-time further education and training in Ireland.  Today the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD launched an ESRI Evaluation of PLC programmes that shows that PLC courses enhance employment chances and progression to higher education for learners. The report finds that PLC learners were 16 per cent more likely to be in employment and 27 per cent more likely to have progressed to higher education after completing their courses than those who left education after the Leaving Certificate and had similar characteristics.

Congratulations to Liberties CFE Media Students Leanne Doherty and Gary O’Reilly who made excellent presentations at todays launch. Leanne told the audience  ‘PLC suited me down to the ground’.

Find out more about what’s on offer at CDETB Colleges HERE

Or search our CDETB course data base HERE



 Q: How can a Further Education and Training course best match a student’s need?

 A: Students whose interests are in areas like media, horticulture or sports often choose what is commonly referred to as PLC as their first choice because of the practical element and the overall reputation the courses have developed.

Some  examples:

  • Performing Arts is a specialism at Inchicore College of Further Education.
  • Ballyfermot CFE is well-known for Animation, Music, Digital Media and Media Production. Coláiste Dhúlaigh has some similar specialisms and has been the flagship for Outdoor Education for more than 25 years.
  • Crumlin CFE has developed an excellent reputation for its School of Beauty Hair and Fashion. There are excellent Catering courses in Crumlin CFE and in Colaiste Ide in Finglas.
  • Pearse CFE has a strong reputation for its Environmental programmes. The range is wide and surprising.It is practical
  • Many people specifically choose PLC courses because they are practical. Students get hands-on experience from the very beginning. Early work experience helps them to determine very quickly if they have chosen an area that suits their particular talents and skills.

It is also an opportunity to explore choice of career further before committing to, for example, a four year degree path.

It is an opportunity to explore a brand new subject area.

It is an opportunity to study locally.  Many students regard being local as very important, not having to live away from home.

Q: What Progression Routes exist for Further Education students? 

A: A Links scheme exists which enable PLC students to apply directly for Third Level entry through the CAO.

Many PLC colleges have special arrangements with Colleges and Universities both within the Republic of Ireland and the UK offering advanced entry to second or third year of degree programmes.

The record of students who progress is exemplary. Having studied for one or two years in an FE college, students are better prepared for Higher Education – they understand what’s needed in order to get a good degree. This is shown in their results with almost all of the students who progress obtaining an honours degree.  The students have developed confidence and know what they want.  FET graduates will succeed because they are focused, prepared and have developed a good work ethic, they are ready.

Q: DO FE courses lead to employment?

 A: FET leads to jobs. Each of CDETB’s colleges have strong industry links acquired over decades. Work experience is mandatory on all further education or PLC courses.  All students undertake a work placement at home or abroad.

Some Examples:

  • The Renewable Energy Practices programme at Coláiste Dhúlaigh CFE, for example, offers excellent career prospects in an expanding market. As people become more interested in renewable energy and home improvement there has been an expansion in jobs in retrofitting and installation.
  • There is a strong demand for staff in the computer industry. There is a popular perception that, in order to gain work, you must have a degree in the area but this is not the case. Two years and a QQI level 6 award provide a student with a stand-alone qualification. A Computer Systems Technician course, for example can lead to jobs in areas like networking, software installation and security.
  • The travel and tourism industry is at an all-time high. Almost all CDETB graduates gain employment at the end of the programme.
  • Outdoor Education is another buoyant market. A course in this area can lead to jobs in the adventure sector of the tourism and leisure industry and in outdoor recreation.
  • There is huge growth in the entertainment and performance industry. Courses in Drama, Dance and Music performance all lead to fulfilling work and there are also opportunities in the related areas of Music Management and Sound Engineering.
  • Animation and Digital Media graduates from Ballyfermot CFE and Coláiste Dhúlaigh are much sought after by industry and graduates of Ballyfermot College have received an Academy Award and a number of BAFTAs, EMMYs and ANNIES.
  • Many of the students in the Creative Arts such as Fine Art, Graphic Design and Fashion Design become self-employed.
  • Many practical and specialist areas like Horticulture also lead directly to work and very often to self employment.
  • In the area of the Sciences a general science foundation in laboratory techniques leads to jobs as laboratory technician laboratory assistant.
  • There is a huge demand for qualified Childcare and Healthcare staff and FE colleges have met this demand.

Some conclusions…..

  • Animation student have had extraordinary success.  Travel & Tourism Students have a very high success rate in obtaining employment.  Childcare students get the jobs they love in crèches and working with children. Social Care graduates work in self-fulfilling roles with those in need.
  • Not everyone wants to go to Third Level and there are huge opportunities in Further Education which prepare people for the world of work.
  • ETBs are delivering on the need for a well-qualified and well prepared workforce.  Students are enabled to gain employment in areas in which they have been trained during their time in a PLC College.

So – the purpose of FET CITY EXPO is: 

  • To make students aware of the 400+ excellent PLC and Training options that are available to them primarily at Level 5 and 6 across the city of Dublin.
  • To demonstrate that HE is not the only option for school leavers
  • To showcase the exciting alternatives at FET level



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