Further Education in Design and Craft
The Further Education and Training sector is a key provider of learning for people aged 16 and over in Ireland in knowledge, skills and competence. A very wide range of subject areas are available to learners, delivered by teachers and trainers in post-leaving schools, colleges, commercial companies, various agencies and through adult learning centres’ in the community and elsewhere.
Funding of Further Education is via a number of sources, including through the Dept. of Education & Skills, SOLAS and the ETB’s ‘Education Training Boards’. Non-formal and informal learning which takes place in the home, work-place and the community are also integral to the Further Education sector. www.education.ie | www.solas.ie | www.etbi.ie
AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation, which promotes the development of adult learning through the provision of a comprehensive system of adult education, which is accessible to and inclusive to all. The members of AONTAS who now number 500 plus comprise individual, organisational and associate members. AONTAS promotes the importance of adult and community education as a key part of lifelong learning. It influences the development of policy and lobbies on behalf of the sector. It facilitates networking among members and supports their work. Membership is open to all organisations, groups and individuals involved in the promotion or advancement of adult education. AONTAS is a good place to access information about various learning opportunities in the further education sector. www.aontas.com
Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications
For people who want to gain qualifications in Ireland it is helpful to have an insight into the NFQ - National Framework of Qualifications. This is a structure where learners can progress upwards with qualifications from Level 1 to 10.
Each level has a set of learning outcomes that are expected of a learner if s/he is to receive an award at that level. At each of the 10 levels there are one or more award-types, such as “Certificate’ and ‘Diploma’ etc. On the Framework, generally awards at levels 1 to 5 (6 in some cases) are considered as Further Education (FE) awards.
|NFQ Levels||Qualification Types|
|1||Level 1 Certificate|
|2||Level 2 Certificate|
|3||Level 3 Certificate|
|4||Level 4 Certificate|
|5||Level 5 Certificate|
Key information relating to NFQ awards is available at: www.qqi.ie
Design & Craft in Ireland’s Further Education System
Ireland has a number of design and craft related courses, mainly part-time and evening provision, delivered in local centres’ across the country. Courses range from a diverse selection of arts, crafts and design based programmes such as basketry, ceramics, wood-turning, etc. Many of these courses start at the beginning of term times, such as at September, January and April. Most evening adult-education provision is uncertificated, but there are some courses available on a full time basis that provide accredited certification. Information on these courses is usually found at a local level as the teachers and trainers normally work in ‘vocational education centres’ now funded by the Education Training Boards (ETBs).
To join a further education course in a craft and design and arts area, it is best to contact your local centre to see what is available. There is normally a fee for attendance and this is publicised in advance of each course. To find an appropriate F.E. centre for your location, contact the Education Training Board for your area, from 2014 there are 16 ETBs located nationwide.
For further information contact the Education team at the Design & Crafts Council Ireland via email at [email protected].