BellTime Magazine BellTime 11-5 - Page 3

BellTIME BellTIME Post Leaving Certificate Options CAO The CAO closing date for applications to third level universities and colleges is February 1st. Here is the good news both to those of you who have submitted CAO applications, and those who are still trying to make up your mind about what to do after school: You still have the option to change your mind! The facility to amend course choices for a fee of €10 becomes available on the 5th of February. However, the free Change of mind facility opens on the 6th of May and closes on the 1st of July – so there is plenty of time to reflect on your choices. Even if you currently are happy with your application, it is a good idea to review your course choices after completing the Leaving Certificate exams. The CAO application trends for 2019 will be available from early March which can give an indication of the likelihood of points going up or down for different courses. There are many more options than Higher Education available to you after school! A recent study highlighted that graduates from apprenticeships and Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses are rated as highly as graduates from third-level colleges by Irish employers. PLC / Further Education You can research these courses on and use the links to apply for courses. Many further education colleges and PLC providers continue to accept 4 applications until all places are filled and may not have a specific application closing date. As some courses are very popular, it is advised to apply early so keep your antennae up for those closing dates which vary from college to college, unlike the CAO system. PLC courses: • qualify you with a Level 5 or 6 qualification • can serve as a back door into HEIs • suit students who for financial/health/personal/visa requirement reasons are not in a position to embark on a 3-4 year programme. • are ideal for any student unsure if a course is right for them and wants to try a short course as a trial before committing to a longer programme. system. Many apprenticeship programmes have deadlines for applications from March to May – but this is different for every apprenticeship. Make sure you research what the deadlines, eligibility criteria and the application process for each individual apprenticeship you are interested in. Typically, you apply with a CV and/or application form and if shortlisted – attend for interview/s. is the main website with links to specific programmes in the different sectors. Qualities employers seek in their apprentices: • Passion to learn • Interest and flair for chosen Traineeship/Apprenticeship • Positive attitude • Good communications skills • Willingness to further develop skills within the organisation Apprenticeships • Reliable, good time keeper Apprenticeships have a strong • Dedicated and focussed on the emphasis on practical skills and job suit hands on learners i.e. those of you who have trouble sitting still in • Good problem solver class! You get on-the-job training and “earn as you learn” as you are Does this sound like you? If yes, then have a look on paid for the duration of the, you may find apprenticeship. There are now your dream career. over 40 apprenticeships available in areas such as accounting, insurance, engineering, logistics, Traineeships construction, electrical, engineering, ICT, hospitality, motor Traineeships combine learning in with many more in development in education setting with workplace setting. The traineeships are areas ranging from agriculture to delivered by ETBs in partnership recruitment. with employers in areas identified to have skills shortages, such as As an apprentice, you are employed under a formal contract business, construction, finance and fashion and beauty. This means of apprenticeship that is between that the employability of those 2–4 years in duration with a minimum 50% on-the-job learning. completing these programmes is very high. Other useful facts about The application process is different from higher education as traineeships: there is not one central application • They respond to an identified skills need • Lead to an award at level 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications • Are between 6-20 months in duration • Have at least 30% on-the-job learning • Combine transversal and technical skills development • Are designed for flexible delivery • Improve employment outcomes for participants Details of traineeship programmes currently open for registration are available on or from your local ETB, where information about entry requirements and applications are available for each traineeship. Traineeships are ideal for the student who is not ready to commit to a course or job and wants to try something out for a short period of time. Studying abroad Did you know that a number of European countries offer free university degrees through the English language, such as Germany and the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark). In the Netherlands, though fees are Eur 2083, our students ae entitled to an interest- free loan from the Dutch government with a long repayment period. The entry requirements are also generally much lower compared to the equivalent courses in Irish Universities. In addition to the many Irish students are now attending highly- ranked Research universities in the Netherlands, increasing numbers are enrolling in the programmes in Universities of Applied Sciences. These universities The UAS offer programmes in areas such as: - - - Physiotherapy Game Design Business - - - - - Fine Art and Design Fashion Engineering IT Music Management The programmes at the UAS are much less academic and more hands-on than those at the Research Universities. Note that entry requirements for UAS are EITHER 6 passes at Leaving Cert (inc 2 x H4) OR a relevant QQI Level 5. Costs are low and student finance is available. Deadlines for applying vary from country to country, a handful are early in the year, most are between May and August. To research your options, see EUNiCAS at which is an independent application support service. You can search for different courses in different countries online and for a fee of €28 you can get support and advice on the application process for up to eight programmes in Europe. UCAS UCAS (to study in the UK) application deadlines were Jan 15th but next autumn a second opportunity to apply occurs during Clearing. You can apply through UCAS, view available courses and may be interviewed by telephone. Research for more information and be sure to first of all talk to your parents/guardians about the feasibility of funding this option. Employment /Volunteering In addition, you may consider employment and/or volunteering. Work experience is an excellent source of information about what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Your chances of gaining employment are high, as unemployment levels are extremely low right now (approx 5.3%). Building up work experience, gaining transversal skills, independence and developing as a person are all very valuable potential outcomes of employment. A gap year can also, for some, provide opportunity to travel and volunteer, if you can afford it. However, if you are looking to volunteer abroad, carefully research your options and any organisation/company that offer volunteer programmes abroad as the quality and safety of such programmes can vary significantly. Don’t forget you can have the best of both worlds: the freedom and adventure of work/travel for a year and the security of a college place to come home to if you defer your CAO place. Some examples of useful websites: for information on all options after school for volunteering and job opportunities in non-profit organisations Whatever you chose, pursue an option you like and are interested in. The world is your oyster. Enjoy! Beatrice Dooley President of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors Post Leaving Cert Options 5