Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Blog Archive

What we can learn from Education at a Glance

Posted on September 15, 2014

Berni AGM - Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS, at the organisations AGM in May 2014.
Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS, at the organisations AGM in May 2014.

 Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS reacts to the publication of last weeks 'Education at a Glance' by the OECD. 

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult educationLabour Market ActivationUnemployment

Five Top Tips for Adults Returning to Education

Posted on August 20, 2014

Graduates from the Open Training College1. Develop a Network

Returning to education after a long period can seem very daunting. Developing a network of friends and acquaintances can greatly enhance your experience. Adult learners often fit their classes and study time around family and other commitments and may not spend a great deal of time at their place of learning. Some people will be studying part time and may spend even less time there. Developing a group of friends who you can discuss course work and assignments with and borrow or swap notes with if you miss a class is very important. Classmates can also offer a great source of support when you are feeling overwhelmed and need a bit of extra help or reassurance. Make a positive effort to meet new people at the start of your course, even if it's grabbing a cup of coffee at a break. Remember that everyone is in the same boat as you.

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Meeting Ireland's Skills Challenge

Posted on June 09, 2014

CORK

There are a number of data sources which give us trends, statistics and insights into the skills levels of Irish adults.  The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs provides an annual progress report qualifications in the workforce, and recently found that 15% of the current workforce has a Junior Cert or equivalent qualification.  The most comprehensive study to date on adult skills was co-ordinated by the OECD and data was published in October 2013.  Almost 6,000 Irish adults in Ireland were surveyed as part of the study which is known as PIAAC.  In Ireland, PIAAC showed that 17.6% of Irish adults were below level 1 on a five level literacy scale.  In terms of numeracy, 25% of Irish adults were below Level 1. 

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Why the Local Elections matter to Adult Learning

Posted on May 21, 2014

Ballot Box - On May 23rd we will elect members of local authorities for the next five years.
On May 23rd we will elect members of local authorities for the next five years.

This Friday (May 23rd) the local and European elections take place.  On that day, those of us who cast our vote will decide on the composition of local authorities for the next five years.  Some of those elected will be appointed to the 16 Education and Training Boards which were established in July last year.  Building on the experience of former VECs, the ETBs will co-ordinate and organise adult education in their areas in line with the new, national Further Education and Training Strategy

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PIAAC gives Ireland a wake-up call

Posted on October 15, 2013

Berni AGM - Berni Brady Director of AONTAS addresses the AGM 2013.
Berni Brady Director of AONTAS addresses the AGM 2013.

Writes Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS

The disappointing results of the OECD PIAAC survey published on Tuesday October 9th 2013 have wide implications for the Irish education system as a whole and not just the adult education sector.  The CSO was contracted to assess the skills of almost 6,000 adults around the country as part of this international OECD study carried out in 24 different countries.  Literacy and numeracy skills were categorised from Level 1 to Level 5 (with Level 1 corresponding to the lower end of the skills scale), while there were three different proficiency levels in ‘problem solving in technology rich environments’.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult education

Who’s taking part in adult learning?

Posted on August 27, 2013

What Next Booklet - Sometimes the information about education and training can be overwhelming.
Sometimes the information about education and training can be overwhelming.

Around this time last year we added up the statistics available on participation in adult education.  (Yes, we love statistics at AONTAS).  This was in response to the regular queries we get from people asking us ‘who are adult learners?’  So we decided to look at the figures this year and see if much had changed. 

In our estimates below we’ve included adults taking part in programmes co-ordinated by Education and Training Boards (these include former VEC programmes), FÁS Training Courses, government upskilling programmes, adults learning through independent community education groups, adults in third level education and adults enrolling in evening classes. 

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The top three queries about adult learning

Posted on August 20, 2013

OTC two

It’s that time of year again, when the evenings are getting shorter and many people start to think about signing up for a course.  There are plenty of opportunities now to help you research your options, whether it’s a Springboard Roadshow, the Which Course Exhibition, or the adult education supplements published in the national newspapers over the coming weeks.  Your local Education and Training Board should also be able to give you information about adult education in your area. 

Here in AONTAS we continue to receive queries through our Information Referral Service from adults who are thinking about returning to education.  We’ve noticed an increase in queries this year, so here are the top three queries we are getting right now. 

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information on adult educationAdult LearnersTraining and education options for people who are unemployed

Life after Redundancy

Posted on May 07, 2013

Patrick Duffy, student in the Adult Learning BA (ALBA) writes about his personal experience of redundancy over two years ago, and how the BA is helping him to find his feet again.  

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult LearnersTraining and education options for people who are unemployedUnemployment

What does the latest IMF review say about further education and training?

Posted on April 09, 2013

Roundtable - Adult learners outline how their experience of community education helped them progress in education and onto employment.
Adult learners outline how their experience of community education helped them progress in education and onto employment.

The ninth IMF Review published last week takes a look at the role of the further education and training sector in economic recovery.  The review takes place against the backdrop of an increase in the number of people who are ‘very long term unemployed’ i.e. unemployed for over 2 years - now at 30% of the total number of those who are unemployed. The percentage of people unemployed for over 1 year now stands at 60% of the total number.  

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: SOLASFurther Education and Training

The role of qualifications in reforming education : reflections on an Irish Presidency Conference March 2013

Posted on March 19, 2013

NFQ fan

The statement from the Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, outlining his priority for the European  Presidency  as the provision of high quality education and training for all of Europe’s citizens being essential if Europe is to tackle its unemployment crisis, strengthen its economic growth  and create sustainable jobs has set the agenda for discussion of synergies across training and education. During the presidency, Ireland has been emphasising the importance of bringing together the   different sectors of education and training. The government is engaged in a major reform agenda which includes the integration of the Further Education and Training Service under the co-ordination of SOLAS, the proposed new FET Authority, and has already brought in legislation to amalgamate the 33 local Vocational Education Committees into 16 new Education and Training Boards. It is envisaged that all FET will be the responsibility of these Boards. As well as proposing an integrated approach at FET level the Minister is also concerned that Vocational Education and Training (VET) must work closely with the Higher Education (HE) system if our citizens are to get the skills they need for new jobs.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: QualificationsQQINational Qualifications Framework

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