One Third Of Kerry ETB Course Graduates Go Straight Into Employment

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Kerry ETBPARTICIPATION in further education on Kerry ETB courses is getting people jobs as well as places on University and Institute of Technology courses according to a new study.

The study shows that courses originally set up, either as a bridge from basic education or as an alternative route to college, are now in fact playing an additional role in helping people get jobs especially in rural Kerry.

About a third of all adults who take up full time further education courses with Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) go straight into employment and close to a half of all Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) students go on to further or higher education according to the findings of a new study launched as part of National College Awareness Week which take places from  November 21-27.

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Traditionally, education providers have always looked at the number of students that sign up for courses and what qualifications they leave with.

But typically it was not always known what people actually did with those qualifications afterwards. This new study, just completed by Kerry ETB, examined the destination of learners some months after course completion as well as retention and certification rates.

Project staff conducted a follow up telephone survey with over 600 PLC learners across some 46 courses and almost 80 VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) learners in eight different courses.

Almost 80% of all PLC students and 100% of VTOS completed their course with the majority of them achieving a Major Award in their chosen field of learning.

PLC Further Education Colleges were set up to provide further education and skill training for jobs as well as an access route to further and higher education, so in many ways the results here were to be anticipated.

VTOS however is a two year bridging programme aimed at adults and young people over the age of 21 who either do not have a Leaving Certificate or need to up-skill. The high numbers of people exiting the VTOS programme directly into work was an excellent result.

The results in various Kerry ETB centres around the county are all a little different to the global picture when the statistics are looked at on a countywide basis and in fact are an interesting reflection of the demographic profile of Kerry.

The population is two thirds female and one third male. Kerry College of Further Education (KCFE) in Tralee has the highest male participation rate, followed by North Kerry College (NKC) in Listowel.

Countywide figures show that most learners were under the age of 26 years, one in five were between the age of 26-40 and only one in ten were over the age of 40 years.

But each town tells it’s own story. Tralee had the youngest population, while a quarter of PLC learners in Listowel were over the age of 40 years and in Caherciveen half of all PLC learners were over 40 years, reflecting the demographic makeup of the county.

The study also found that young males (under 26 years) were more likely to enter employment whereas as females of this age were more likely to progress to further or higher education.

With VTOS the majority of the learners are over the age of 41 years. Killarney and Tralee VTOS had the youngest population, while almost half of all South Kerry VTOS learners were in the over 40’s bracket.

Kerry ETB has over 10,000 adult learners participating in further education and training full time and part time courses for school leavers, job seekers and adult learners across 20 centres and ten towns throughout Kerry.


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