What options are available for an adult returning to education after many years out of it?
Currently, in Ireland, there are over 200,000 adults in education. These are adults availing of education through local VECs (including adult literacy, community education, VTOS, Back to Education Initiative, PLC programmes and Training Centres). A percentage of these adults have entered third level education as a mature student. Depending on your circumstances, you can also avail of Distance Learning Courses from private and public education providers.
With the rapid increase in unemployment, there is a greater demand for education and training. In order to choose the best option for you, contact your local VEC to make an appointment with an Adult Guidance Officer, or if you wish to go to a Higher Education Institute and make contact with their Access Office or their Mature Students Officer.
The course you choose should be relevant to the sectors with projected job shortages and/or it should lead to some form of progression if you wish to take your education to the next level. Most adults are now returning to education to gain new skills or training in order to secure employment. However, at the same time, you should also try and pursue a course that matches your own skills and interest that also would have employment prospects. Spend some time researching before you make any decisions.