HEA Report Shows 85% Progression Rate to Second Year

progression rates reportIn the fifth of a series, a new Higher Education Authority report, ‘A Study of Progression in Irish Higher Education’, published in April 2017, focuses on the progression of students from their first year of study in 2013/14 to their second year of study in 2014/15.

The report shows that 85% of full time undergraduate new entrants in 2013/14 progressed to their second year of study in 2014/15. This compares favourably to international rates and shows that the proportion progressing has increased slightly over the last few years (from 84% in 2010/11 to 85% in 2014/15). This is testament to the resilience of a sector which has accommodated rising student-numbers while staff numbers and budgets have been cut substantially. However, while almost 34,000 students do make the transition from first to second year, the fact remains that over 6,200 students did not progress.
Progression rates varied across sectors ranging from 74% and 73% at levels 6 and 7 respectively compared to 89%, 84% and 94% at level 8 in universities, institutes of technology and colleges respectively.

The study also found that, among socio-economic groups, the lowest rate of non-progression was among those from farming family backgrounds at 9%. As was the case in previous reports, females are more likely than males to progress for most National Framework of Qualification levels and across all sectors.

Below average progression rates are observed in the fields of Construction and Related, Services, Computer Science and Engineering. While Services and Computer Science have the lowest rates of progression at level 8, there is much variation between sectors (universities and institutes of technology) as well as between institutions within sectors. Improvements have been seen inComputer Science since last year’s analysis across all sectors at level 8, with progression rates increasing from 80% to 84% with a more pronounced increase noted in the institutes of technology (from 74% to 80%) than the universities (from 85% to 88%). Medicine has the lowest non-progression rate at 3%.
Dr Graham Love, CEO of the HEA welcomed improvements in the progression rates of Computer Science students.

He pointed out that
“Additional funding allocated to retention initiatives such as maths enabling courses, peer mentoring and additional tutorials for computer science students in their first year of study are having a positive impact and contributing to such improvements”

The report confirms that there is a significant relationship between prior educational attainment (based on CAO points) and progression rates. While the overall progression rate is 85%, this rises to 93% for students who obtained between 555 and 600 points. Further analysis has shown that although students attending institutes of technology are less likely to progress, compared to university students – once prior educational attainment is factored in, the difference diminishes substantially.

Dr. Love noted that
“While the figures are stable over time and comparable with competitor countries, lower progression rates in key skill shortage disciplines such as construction, computer science and engineering, where mathematics content is high, remains a source of concern.”

View the full report at http://www.hea.ie/sites/default/files/hea-study-of-progression-in-irish-higher-education-2013_14_to_2014_15.pdf

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IADT Summer Courses

summer courses iadtThe Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin are running a range of short term Summer courses starting in June. The courses are from 1 to three weeks in duration, depending on the subject.

Many of the courses are aimed at pre-college students who require a portfolio of work to apply for third level courses in the creative fields. Others are open to anyone interested in art, photography or creative writing.

More details of the courses on offer are outlined below..
iadt summer courses 2017

Courses run from 10am-4pm unless otherwise stated. There is a half hour coffee break in morning and one hour lunch break 1-2pm.
There is a canteen service available for the duration of these short courses which serves a wide selection of hot and cold food and drink.
A materials list will be sent to students on enrolment and students must provide their own materials, except where specified.

For more details about Summer courses on offer at IADT, visit the following link – http://www.iadt.ie/courses/summer-courses

You can also view a range of courses on offer from IADT on Findacourse.ie at https://www.findacourse.ie/dun-laoghaire-institute-cg271.html

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European Youth Week 2017

European Youth WeekEuropean Youth Week is a celebration of the massive contribution young people make to Europe.  This year the slogan is ‘Shape it, move it, be it’ and the focus of the week is very much on Solidarity and the social commitment of young people.  In Ireland there are lots of exciting events being organised both by Léargas and the Eurodesk Ireland Network!  So check out what is happening in your area and celebrate European Youth Week from 1-7 May!

Léargas Regional European Youth Week Events

Local Youth Week events will be a chance to learn about funding opportunities under Erasmus+ with a special emphasis on European Voluntary Service.  These events will look at how we challenge prejudice and promote solidarity through the method of ‘Living Library’. Newcomers to Erasmus+  are especially welcome.  For further details on these regional events click on the links below:

Eurodesk Ireland Network European Youth Week Events

The Eurodesk Ireland Network have a range of inspiring events over the course of Youth Week. From Donegal to Cork you’ll find our Eurodesk Multipliers bringing young people together in solidarity and diversity.  Here are some examples of the types of events available:

To register for these events contact your local youth service!  For further details on European Youth Week visit Youthweek.eu and follow #youthweek on Twitter and Facebook.

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Legal Secretary Courses

legal secretary coursesLegal secretaries are responsible for administration and secretarial work and provide a supporting role towards other professional staff in the law profession. The duties involved in this role can include telephone answering, dealing with clients and members of the public, organising correspondence and administrative tasks such as making appointments on behalf of solicitors and other legal executives.

Typing skills and  a degree of computer proficiency are necessary as the role includes the production of legal documents and letters. This may be done from a draft, or by audio typing from a tape of recorded dictation.

Legal secretaries are responsible for the preparation of records of legal costs and therefore need an understanding of accounting, finance and business practice.

Legal secretaries also prepare and proof read documents such as leases, contracts, wills and property conveyances, the transfer of property from one owner to another using legal documents. They therefore need to develop a knowledge of law, including criminal law, conveyancing and family law, and must understand how the courts apply the law in particular situations.

Jobs in this profession are highly valued and well paid as the reliance lawyers place on their specialist secretarial support is enormous.


The Pitman Training Diploma will give you the skills required for this career– from typing skills (speed and audio); to total mastery of the most common business software; to business communication techniques. Choose from a range of Legal modules such as Conveyancing, Wills & Probate, Civil Litigation, Company and Family Law.

Pitman Training Ireland

Pitman Training Swords

View legal courses on Findacourse.ie

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Chinese Courses – Learning Chinese

learn chineseLearning Chinese – the difficulties and the benefits.

Would you consider learning a language, if it meant improving your job prospects nationally, internationally and globally? Would you consider learning a new language, if it made you one of the the 1.3 billion who speak it today (one fifth of the world’s population)? Would you consider learning Chinese 中文?

At a recent Global Irish Economic Forum, it was asked: should we be embracing the Chinese language?

It was highlighted by a business representative in the forum that Irish people should be learning Chinese to equip us to fully embrace the possibilities for trade with the surging Asian economy.

However, one government official was not sure, he highlighted some concerns, including the fact that it is a very difficult language to learn. ‘It is not as simple as learning a language with Celtic roots’, he said, concluding that while it might be easy enough to grasp a conversational level of spoken Chinese, it would take years to learn Chinese writing. He said that it was up to schools what secondary languages they decide to teach.

Despite these difficulties there is no doubting the importance and relevance of the Chinese language in the world today. It is the official language in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore amongst others. It is also one of the six official languages of the UN. Modern economies will be looking to supply many services to the Chinese over the next few decades – making it a major language of the future. After-all there are now more Chinese people on-line than Americans! Economic forecasters believe that those countries that embrace this amazing language will have a big economic edge.

How difficult is it?

Yes, it can be difficult for westerners and even Chinese people admit how difficult it can be to learn (and they are proud of this, by the way!) I have heard words like ‘incomprehensible’ and ‘heart-breaking to learn’ used by those who have undertaken classes. They also say, like many others: it really is ‘a beautiful language’.

Let’s break it down:

• The writing system is beautiful to look at and intriguing but completely different to what most of us are used to.

• A huge number of the characters have to be learnt off. Some say there are over 50,000 but you could get by on 2,000!

• Within the Chinese writing system there are two sets of characters: the traditional and the simplified characters adapted by those in the People’s Republic of China.

• The writing system is not phonetic. You can’t spell it out phonetically. It must be learnt off. In other words, the sound does not help you write it. The good news is that the Chinese do have a way of writing how a character should be pronounced. This is pin-yin, like a phonetic alphabet.

• You have to ‘learn’ how to learn Chinese!

art classes

Chinese Courses:

If you like languages, like a challenge, and seriously want to up-skill your curriculum vitae; you can avail of a number of different courses:

The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland is a joint venture between the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), Renmin University of China and UCD. The institute offers a range of evening courses, one-to-one tuition and full time Chinese courses in 2 locations in Dublin. More information can be viewed on their website www.cii.ie.

Sandford Languages Institute run a twelve week Chinese course in the evening. It is for absolute beginners.

In UCC an honours degree in International Commerce with Chinese Studies is an option for third level & mature students. Whilst in DIT, a similar course is called Chinese with International Business. Both these courses recognise that as China emerges as a superpower in the world of International trade, it is increasingly important for Ireland to have home-grown graduates fluent in Chinese and familiar with Chinese culture and business.

You might be thinking that since the Chinese are putting huge emphasis on learning English; we’ll just let them do the talking instead when it comes to business! however, having some knowledge of the language may give an edge and will no doubt impress, also it may make you smarter! Scientists have shown that those who speak Chinese have significant greater density of grey and white matter, including those who even try learn it. So if your brain is up to the challenge..


Chinese and other language courses are listed at www.findacourse.ie/languages-courses-c1.html

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Foreign Language Teaching to be Prioritised

languagesIreland should benchmark ourselves against the best English-speaking country in the world for foreign languages and aim to emulate that performance within a decade, the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD said at the TUI conference in Cork recently.

Minister Bruton also said that we should aim to be within the top ten in Europe in this area. The Minister was speaking ahead of the publication of his Department’s ten year strategy for foreign languages, a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education. The plan acknowledges that in general, Ireland, in common with other English-speaking countries, has not, prioritised learning of foreign languages when compared to other countries, tending to regard English as a common international language of communication.
However in the context of Brexit, the increasing global importance of the non-Western countries, and our diversifying markets for exports, these assumptions will no longer hold true.

The Strategy acknowledges that this will require a very significant change of mind set about language learning. It will also take time, commitment and additional resources. However this area must be a major priority. However it also acknowledges that we have major assets to build on. Teaching of Irish means that, unlike many other countries, children become familiar with bilingualism from age 4 and start to learn second language skills early. We now have strong communities of new Irish people who have brought language skills from hundreds of countries around the world.

Outside of the headline ambitions, other targets to be delivered as part of the Strategy include:

  • All Junior Cycle students will study a foreign language by 2021
  • A 10% increase in the number of Leaving Certificate students taking foreign language subjects, with a particular focus on diversifying the number of languages studied in addition to French, – which is currently by far the most popular language
  • Increase of at least 50% in the number of students doing Erasmus, with further targets for improvement in the language proficiency of those coming back from Erasmus, and reductions in the numbers doing Erasmus course through English
  • We will aim to support 20% of the entire higher education cohort to study a foreign language, as part of their course. And we will put a particular focus on increasing the uptake of those studying courses relevant to international business and ICT. Competence in languages can be particularly relevant for career progression and is also vital for Ireland’s export sector

Among the measures contained in the Strategy to deliver on these targets are:

  • Additional foreign languages to be available at junior cycle
  • Introduction of Mandarin Chinese as a Leaving Certificate curricular subject. Together with other measures, this will mean that all of our main target languages in our export strategies will now be provided as curricular leaving cert subjects
  • Double the number of schools offering more than two foreign languages as part of Transition Year programmes
  • Measures to develop and build on the heritage language skills of immigrant communities:
  • Curricular specifications at Leaving Certificate, starting with Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese as heritage languages with accompanying Leaving Certificate examinations. These specifications would replace the existing Leaving Certificate non-curricular examinations in these languages.
  • Consideration of the development of additional Junior Cycle Short Courses for heritage languages, mindful of the fact that a short course in Polish already exists
  • New models of delivering language teaching, such as shared classes and blended learning. This will allow students who are part of small immigrant communities, within specific schools, to develop their heritage language skills.
  • The Department of Education and Skills and the Teaching Council will address the complex issues involved in registering teachers of these languages.
  • The Department will work with embassies of relevant countries in delivering on these commitments.

Primary Education:

  • Exploring the possibilities of using CLIL (content and language integrated learning) techniques by teaching aspects of the primary curriculum through Irish and foreign languages which will equip learners with transferrable language skills. Research shows that teaching languages as a means of communication in this way, rather than as an academic subject to be learned in isolation, can be very effective
  • The NCCA, as part of its current review of the Primary School Curriculum will be asked to give consideration to including foreign languages in the senior classes.

Teacher Supply:

  • There may be post-primary teachers in the system who are qualified to teach a range of foreign languages but are currently not doing so. Following an audit, if this is found to be the case, then schools, especially their principals and the qualified language teachers, need to be encouraged and supported with dedicated CPD, to diversify the range of languages on offer. Clustering initiatives will be examined in this area.
  • Initial Professional Masters in Education programmes for students wishing to graduate as language teachers should agree on minimum Common European Framework of Reference for languages proficiency at both entry and exit points
  • Teachers/ lecturers throughout their career should be given CPD opportunities to enable them to enhance their language skills and teaching quality and to engage in innovative pedagogical practice. Such CPD opportunities are currently being provided by the Junior Cycle for Teachers, Professional Development Service, for foreign language teachers as the new Modern Languages specification is being rolled out at Junior Cycle this September (2017).

Other Areas:

  • The International Education Strategy for Ireland (2016 -2020) provides for the extension of the stay back period from 12 to 24 months for post-graduates. This opportunity will result in more eligible post-graduates, who have studied in Irish higher education institutions, and whose award is granted by a recognised Irish awarding body, at Masters or PhD level, to remain in Ireland for two years to seek employment.
  • Greater use of existing programmes is needed for Foreign Language Assistants, both coming to, and going from Ireland to countries where their foreign language is the spoken language
  • Develop a benchmark standard against which our performance in languages at all levels can be measured, against ourselves and against other countries, and for objective target-setting. To this end, we will mainstream use of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • A languages advisory group is to be established under the auspices of the National Skills Council to oversee implementation; membership to comprise representatives of primary, post primary, academic experts and industry.

Speaking ahead of his address at the TUI conference, Minister Bruton said:
“The central aim of our Action Plan for Education is to provide the best education and training system in Europe over the next decade. A central part of this is our ability to support our students with the skills to be global citizens, to understand other cultures and societies, as well as the skills to function and thrive in the modern economy. The world is changing rapidly and we must plan through our education system for that changing world. Assumptions that held true even a couple of years ago about the place of English as the international language of communication are no longer solid. In the context of Brexit, the rise of the non-Western powers, the challenges of integrating new communities and our increasingly diversified export strategies, we must change the way we think about language learning in Ireland.”

“Ensuring that we continue to provide high-quality language learning and promoting competence in both of our official languages, Irish and English, is a very important objective of Government. However we must also target a step-change in the learning of foreign languages in Ireland. That is why I believe we should benchmark ourselves against the best English-speaking country in the world at learning foreign languages and seek to emulate that performance within a decade, and also top ten position overall within Europe in this area. In the context of Brexit and a changing world this must be a major priority.
Teaching of Irish means that, unlike many other countries, children become familiar with bilingualism from age 4 and start to learn second language skills early. We now have strong communities of new Irish people bringing language skills from hundreds of countries around the world. And as a people we have a natural curiosity in other cultures and societies.”

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Web Design Courses

web design coursesTwenty years ago, the majority of businesses didn’t have a website, now it’s rare that a business does not have an online presence. Our growing reliance on the internet has changed the way we communicate, spend money, even educate ourselves to the extent that careers involving the internet aren’t just growing, they are on the front line of technological and societal change.

Web design is a crucial component in a person’s experience on the internet. A webpage only has a few seconds to impress and keep a customer. Ensuring the page looks good and operates well is one of the most important components of online business. And as the internet becomes increasingly important for communication and business, job prospects for web designers are also rising.

Competition is rife and training is essential. Web designers need to be creative and technical, artistic and business-orientated. Strategic and design skills such as marketing and graphic art in addition to technical knowledge like database administration and programming in flash and html are all e

It may be a competitive career but the benefits and opportunities are excellent, with an increasing demand for talented designers. Generally, the more expertise and specific training the higher the salary is. There are opportunities for talented web designers all over the world or you can stay in your pyjamas, if you’d rather freelance.

Training courses are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about this field, regardless if they continue towards a career in web design or not. Further Education and Private Colleges offer introductions to web design, upskilling, and specialty training. In addition, there are third level part-time evening courses, which over three or four years offer in-depth degree study. The College of Management and IT (CMIT) offers distance learning training in both Introduction to Web Design and Advanced Web Design. Both are certified at QQI Level 5 and Level 6. The course is completed over a six-month period and may commence at any time of year. CMIT also offers Webmaster and Ecommerce Consultant training.

The web design course offered by Pitman Training focuses on Business IT specifically. The training concentrates on design and database skills with HTML programming, Dreamweaver, and the Microsoft Office Suite, including Microsoft Access. The course is for 9 weeks (at approximately 20 hours per week of study) or 180 hours flexi-study.

Web Design training offers a solid and practical education that can lead to a fulfilling, rewarding, and dynamic career. To see a range of courses related to Web design and other computer training courses, why not have a look at our section on IT Training and Computer courses

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Becoming a Midwife

midwife coursesMid-wifery is one of those careers that requires a holistic way of being, that is conducive to bringing a new-born into the world. Apart from the formal qualifications required; being completely caring, have a willingness to help other people, calm and kind are the essential pre-requisites to becoming a mid-wife. The term midwife means to be ‘with woman’ and your role is to be with a mother as she gives birth. Midwifery care is underpinned by a philosophical approach that views pregnancy as part of the life cycle, a normal healthy event. According to the Irish Nursing Board, the concept of partnership between the woman and the midwife is fundamental to midwifery practice and is based on mutual trust, support and collaboration. Midwives work in partnership with obstetricians and other members of the healthcare team in the provision of care, particularly to women with complicated pregnancies.

Therefore, a midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy birth, offering expert individualized care, education, counselling and support to a woman and her new-born throughout the childbearing cycle. A midwife works with each woman and her family to identify their unique physical, social and emotional needs. When the care required is outside the midwife’s scope of practice or expertise, the woman is referred to other health care providers for additional consultation or care.

A midwife is assigned a range of specific tasks and duties that include assisting the mother in the birth of her child to the job of introducing the new member of the family. Any given day in the life of a midwife includes: assisting maternal patients to find physical positions that will facilitate childbirth, monitoring maternal condition during labour by checking vital signs, monitoring uterine contractions, or performing physical examinations, providing comfort and relaxation measures for mothers in labour through interventions such as massage, breathing techniques, hydrotherapy, and music.

The midwife is also responsible for setting up or monitoring the administration of oxygen or medications, assessing birthing environments to ensure cleanliness, safety, and the availability of appropriate supplies, assessing the status of post-date pregnancies to determine treatments and interventions, collecting specimens for use in laboratory tests, conducting on-going prenatal health assessments, tracking changes in physical and emotional health, developing/implementing or evaluating individualised plans for midwifery care and finally, establishing and following emergency or contingency plans for mothers and new-borns.

midwife courses in Ireland

There are a number of HEIs offering the direct entry pre-registration programme into midwifery (open to mature applicants, fetac and standard applicants). The Bachelor of Midwifery, Science degree at NUIG is an example of one of the four-year degree programmes. Following successful completion of this programme, students are eligible to apply to register as a midwife with An Bord Altranais. Their programme consists of 24 theoretical modules and 8 clinical modules.

The syllabus for the pre-registration Honours Degree programme contains the following:
• 67% of the theoretical content is the art and science of nursing care
• 33% of the theoretical content is devoted to the applied biological and social sciences (including psychology, sociology, philosophy and ethics)There are also clinical placements to cover all aspects of the role of a midwife. These include: Antenatal, Intra-natal, Postnatal and Specialist placements.

As a mature applicant, you must be successful at the NCC (Nursing Careers Centre) written assessment before being considered for an offer as a mature code applicant. However, success at the written assessment does not guarantee an offer of a place. The written assessment contains a skills/experience questionnaire, a verbal test, a numerical test and job simulation exercise. Mature applicants also apply through the CAO. Most HEIs offering the midwifery programme do recognise certain FETAC qualifications for entry to this pre-registration course. It is important to consult with the individual HEIs to discuss their requirements whether you are a mature/fetac/standard applicant.

Whilst you can go directly into a midwifery programme at a Higher Education Institute, you can become qualified as a nurse first and then progress onto a post-registration midwifery course.

Like every other career path that you might be considering, do your homework and find out what being a midwife really means. Get some practical experience if you can. For example, some people work voluntarily as a healthcare assistant to see how they feel about working in this type of environment. Attending open days at the relevant universities are important. Here you will get a real feel for what the course is like on a day to day basis. You can also meet the lecturers which can be really useful. Even better, try arrange a meeting with a practicing mid-wife, who could assist you with all your questions and concerns. And, yes, men can become midwifes too!

For further information, contact An Bord Altranais (The Irish Nursing Board).

To see midwife and nursing courses on Findacourse.ie view the Medical and Healthcare courses category at www.findacourse.ie/medical-healthcare-courses-c19.html

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SUSI Grant Process 2018

SUSI third level grantsSUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). is now open for applications for the 2018 academic year. Students are being encouraged to get their application in as early as possible and to be sure to have all correct information and documentation attached. Below is some further information and videos on making a grant application through SUSI.

Tips for Applicants

  • Make your application as early as possible after the opening date.
  • Make sure the information you supply in relation to dates of birth, PPS numbers, etc. is correct, to avoid delays in the processing of your application.
  • Supply the documentation requested of you, correctly first time and on time.
  • Use the application tracker in your online account to check the progress of your submitted application at any stage.

Applications are made through the grants online application system available on the SUSI website (www.susi.ie). You must have an online account with SUSI before you can make your grant application.

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Benefits of Microsoft MTA Certification

microdoft mta trainingFor those who are considering entering into an IT career and need to learn the basics; gaining MTA certification can be highly beneficial.

According to Microsoft, 86% of managers state that IT certifications are important when they are considering candidates and 91% say that a certification is essential when they are hiring. Microsoft state that 64% of managers thought that certifications had high value when it came to validating the skills of job candidates and that certification, experience and training were some of the most important characteristics when selecting a employee. Perhaps the best news of all is that in a survey of nearly 700 IT professionals, 60% stated that getting a certification led to them securing a new job.

An MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification supplies the expertise and knowledge needed for a specific technology or product and is the recommended starting point for the Microsoft certifications. It provides a solid foundation and with just one exam you earn a certification that will allow you to take your first step towards a career in IT.

An MTA also works well for those who have some basic knowledge and may want to refresh or focus on a specific area. Depending on your interests and career goals you can do an MTA on a variety of topics. Doing an MTA gives you the necessary knowledge for moving on to do an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) or MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) certification and when you successfully complete an MTA you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional community (MCP) which allows you members only benefits such as special offers and a private groups where you can network and connect with others on the same career path.

An MTA certification never expires and exams can be taken a training centre near you. Pitman Training Centres all over the country are offering MTA certifications, with trainings available in Carlow, Dublin, Cork, Louth, Galway, Limerick, Westmeath, Kildare, Sligo, Kerry and Wexford. The courses range in topics from an MTA in Security Fundamentals, MTA Networking Fundamentals, MTA Server Administration Fundamentals to MTA Windows Server 2008. All are run on a flexible study basis and are open to those looking for a basic understanding of key concepts.

In a time where finding employment is tough, why not get ahead of the competition and do something that will make you stand out. An MTA certification will add that extra touch of professionalism to your CV and by completing a certification that is voluntary, you are showing future employers that you are motivated, driven and dedicated. When you complete your MTA and become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional Community you will also have the opportunity to browse a list of job opportunities around the world, specifically filtered for MCPs.

For those hoping to improve employability, having a world recognized qualification could be key to raising your profile. So impress future employees and feel confident when you go to your next interview knowing that you have a certification and the skills that will enable a successful IT career.

Click Here to Find MTA Training Courses on Findacourse.ie

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Hair and Beauty Courses

hair and beauty courses in Dublin and IrelandHave you wanted to find a new career path, learn new skills or simply need a change? If so hair and beauty courses are a great way to not only teach you how best to take care of yourself but could also lead to supplementing your income, or embarking on a new career. One thing to bear in mind is that a lot of beauty treatments require specialist training, and if you are looking for employment in this area you may need to check that the course offers relevant certification.

The courses on offer range from beginners to advanced. Whether you’re interested in make-up and beauty, beauty therapy, nail technician courses, hair dressing, make-up artistry, massage, facials or waxing, hair and beauty courses are widely varied and you will usually be able to find one to suit your schedule and requirements. More detailed courses will delve into elements of nutrition which impact personal well being and how diet and nutrition affects beauty. You will gain an understanding of cosmetic chemistry so your services can be customized for your clients based on skin type and colouring.

Bronwyn Conroy Beauty School in Blackrock, Dublin 4, provides many beauty, make-up and Advanced courses in Dublin and is recognised throughout the Beauty Industry for superb standards, obtained through the teaching methods used as well as and adherence to standards of excellence.

Beauty Board College in Churchtown, Co. Dublin, has been at the forefront of innovation and excellence in Irish Professional Beauty training for over 10 years. Beauty Board were the first in Europe to launch Brows Extensions, Brows Stem Cell and Scalp Pigmentation Training. The college provides accessible, engaging training programmes, which lead to nationally and internationally recognised qualifications.

Centrally located in the heart of Gorey, Co. Wexford, Mags Browne Hairdressing Academy offers an 18 month hairdressing diploma course, which runs conveniently over just 2 days a week. The  Mags Browne Hairdressing Academy offers the very best start to any student who wants to achieve their full potential within hairdressing.

Deane Hair Academy is based in Claregate St. in Kildare. The academy started up in September 2008 and has seen many successful graduates since that time. Students on the Hairdressing Diploma Course learn the many different hair styling, colouring and cutting techniques as well as the practical side of working in a busy hair salon.

Kilroys College offers distance learning courses such as the ‘Beauty Therapy Specialist Diploma course’ and the ‘Nail Technician Specialist Diploma training course’, which would allow you to attain the skills you desire from your own home.

Colour and Image Academy in Cork and Limerick offers more in depth training with courses such as ‘Make-up Artistry Course’ and ‘Make-up Training Techniques’.

For more information on beauty courses in Ireland view Beautycoursesireland.com where you can view a range of course providers and course information.

There are also a range of hair and beauty courses at www.findacourse.ie/hair-beauty-courses-c27.html

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Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship 2017

Insurance ApprenticeshipResearch recently released by The Insurance Institute, found that 62% of young adults surveyed stated that they would consider an apprenticeship, as an alternative to going to college, if it was in an area that interested them. Findings also showed that just over half of parents (55%) would encourage their child to undertake an apprenticeship. The research was released today to launch the 2017 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Ireland’s only level 8-degree apprenticeship, which will have over 100 places available nationwide in the coming weeks. This ‘earn and learn’, three year programme, enables apprentices to work for an insurance employer, earn a salary, while also studying for a BA Hons in Insurance Practice.

The research, commissioned by The Insurance Institute and undertaken by Empathy Research, surveyed 309 young adults (18-34) and 410 parents (of dependent children, under 18) to ascertain their perceptions of apprenticeships, as well as their considerations in relation to college/third level education and career choices. Most (77%) young adults agreed that college isn’t for everyone and 76% of young adults agreed that the opportunity to earn a salary while also studying in their chosen field would strongly appeal to them. Only 11% of young adults and 11% (1 in 10) of parents surveyed believe there are enough apprenticeships offered in areas of interest in Ireland, with the majority feeling that there are not.

The research also discovered that for young adults, their main concern in relation to third level education is the cost and affordability, with 58% citing it as a worry, and 52% stating that the prospect of securing a job when they finish is a key concern. Similarly, 65% of parents are also concerned about their children’s chances of getting a job when they complete third level education, and 57% of parents said the cost and affordability of college is a worry for them.

Commenting on the launch, as well as the findings of the research, Sandra Harvey Graham, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, The Insurance Institute, said, “We’re delighted to be launching our 2017 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, with over 100 places becoming available within the next few weeks and successful applicants beginning their apprenticeship in September. The programme is only in its second year, but has been a game changer as it offers young people a real alternative to college, while also providing local jobs, to local people throughout the country.”

“As our research shows, cost and the potential to secure a job are concerns for parents and students when it comes to third level education. The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is within an established and well represented industry, with 28,000 people working in insurance across Ireland. The programme is also Government funded, so students only pay €600 in registration fees annually. This makes it very affordable for potential candidates to kick start their career in a global and dynamic industry, where they will benefit from exceptional on the job experience, all whilst advancing their skills and working towards a Degree.”

Ms Graham continued, “For those interested in the September 2017 programme, they should register their interest from today on earnandlearn.ie. Those registered will be the first to know when the 100 apprenticeships become available over the next few weeks, and they will also benefit from an extensive library of content helping them to get ahead of the game when it comes to applying.”

Additional key research findings included:

  • When asked if they were aware of the Government’s strategy (which is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Education) 12% of young adults (aged 18-34) and 13% of parents said they were. 77% of young adults believe the Government’s strategy would be beneficial to young people in Ireland, with parent’s feeling the same way (78%);
  • Getting a degree is cited by almost half (49%) of under 34’s and just over half (53%) of parents as the best way of ensuring a successful working career;
  • Parents (35%), friends (31%) and guidance counsellors/teachers in school (26%) are the key ports of call for young adults when it comes to talking about choosing a career or changing jobs;
  • Just 24% of those aged 18-34 claim that they found the career guidance they received in school useful, with almost two thirds (63%) rating it as not useful;
  • 16% of young adults said they considered an apprenticeship when then were finishing their secondary school education. Key reasons for not considering an apprenticeship included the desire to go to college and get a degree/diploma (58%), with almost a quarter (23%) claiming not to know enough about apprenticeships;
  • Just under half (46%) of young adults surveyed, agree that they would be happy working in the area they are currently working for the rest of their working life.

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship was first launched in September 2016, and was Ireland’s first, earn and learn honours degree programme. The Government funded apprenticeship is run in partnership with IT Sligo, and apprentices complete the degree portion online through distance learning over three years. The minimum entry requirements include two honours in higher level subjects in the Leaving Cert and a pass in four additional subjects including English/Irish and Maths. Alternatively, if applicants are over 23, interviews or other selection tools may be used.

For more information on the programme or to register your interest please visit www.earnandlearn.ie

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Workshop to Explore psychological Effects of Social Media

social media workshopNUI Galway will hold a workshop on ‘The Dark Psychological Impacts of Social Media in the Workplace’ at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics on Monday, 10 April.

A large body of research has considered the positive aspects of social media in the workplace. However, emerging research and practice are beginning to focus on complex and often alarming ways in which use of social media may harmfully affect workers.  For example, addiction, anxiety and depression, privacy violation, stress, information overload, and work-family conflict are some of the issues that have been studied so far. This workshop focuses on these psychological effects of social media in the workplace.

Dr Eoin Whelan, Lecturer at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “We are delighted to be hosting this workshop the dark psychological impacts of social media in the workplace. Social media plays an increasingly significant role in our experience of work. But what we need to remember is that unintended consequences arise when we begin to use new communication technologies. For example, email was initially used by scientists to share important information across geographically boundaries. But now we email people sitting a few metres away with information that is often not very important. We are only beginning to understand the unintended consequences of social media use in the workplace. The line-up of international speakers will discuss state-of-the-art knowledge on how social media is affecting the psychology and physiology of workers. We particularly welcome industry practitioners to the event.”

Speakers at the workshop will include: Dr Eoin Whelan, NUI Galway; Professor Hanna Krasnova, University of Potsdam; Professor Tom Jackson, Loughborough University; and Professor Monideepa Tarafdar, Lancaster University.

Industry practitioners are especially welcome. To register for the workshop, click here https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-dark-psychological-impacts-of-social-media-in-the-workplace-tickets-31961605021

For further information, contact Dr Eoin Whelan at eoin.whelan@nuigalway.ie.

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National Framework of Qualifications NFQ

nfq progressionThe National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a ten level system that provides a way to compare qualifications and ensure that they are recognised nationally and abroad. Each of the ten levels are used to describe the Irish qualifications system and each level is based on national standards of skill, knowledge and ability ie. what a person is able to understand and do after completing a process of learning, with the higher numbers indicating a higher level of education.

The NFQ system places the Leaving Certificate at level 5 and the Leaving Cert Applied at level 4. From the Leaving Certificate, students are able to apply for courses from level 5 to level 8 (level 9 and 10 are Master’s and PHD courses for which a student needs a level 8 qualification). The NFQ allows students to use the system like a ladder; so whatever step you start on, you can move to a higher level and it can be done in a number of ways.

On entering the system at level 5, Post-Leaving Certificate students may use this qualification to move to higher education, mainly through the Higher Education Links Scheme. This scheme means that students are able to apply for places on CAO courses which includes level 8 courses. Applicants submit an application to the CAO by February 1st but there is no guarantee of a place. However, it does mean that students will have a chance to compete on the basis of their QQI qualification instead of their Leaving Cert results. At the moment, 642 CAO courses accept any QQI level 5 qualification for places. Some courses require the qualification to be in a specific area or that it contains certain subjects.

So students with a level 5 qualification have two ways in which to apply for a course; through the CAO, where their qualification is given a points score, or by applying for  a ‘linked’ course; where a number of places have been set aside for QQI (formerly FETAC) applicants.

Students who enter at level 6 in an IT frequently have the option of staying on in that institution to do a level 7 ‘add on year’ followed by a level 8 ‘add on year’. This means that a student can acquire a level 8 qualification in four years. As most level 8 (or honours degree courses) are four years in length, it is likely to take the student the same amount of time to reach level 8 as a student who enters on level 8. In many cases, a student will be required to achieve a certain grade in order to do the level 7 and 8 ‘add on years’.

Entering the system at level 7 and moving on to level 8 follows the same procedure as level 6 moving to level 7. A lot of the level 7 courses have an optional ’add on’ year to take them to level 8 and students need to enquire with the college or check the CAO handbook. The abbreviation DG in the handbook signifies that it is an Ordinary Degree course while HD signifies that the course has an option to add on a year to make it an Honours Degree. HC+DG+HD means that a course is a Higher Certificate with the option to do an Ordinary Degree and an Honours Degree.

For more information on the NFQ system check out the website www.nfq.ie or check below for an interactive fan diagram that clearly displays the different levels, award types and the awarding bodies.

nfq diagram

Fiona Mcbennett


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ICT Summer Camps on the Agenda for 2nd Level Students

computer courses and IT trainingAdditional funding of €2.25 Million to boost ICT Skills development has been announced, with additional summer camps for second level students being developed, as well as up to 700 additional places on ICT courses. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) will write to higher education institutions to seek proposals for three calls:

  • Additional ICT Summer Camps for second level students,
  • Additional undergraduate places on core level 8 full-time courses
  • A call for full-time level 9 MSc computing courses.

Making the announcement, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD said:
“A goal of the Action Plan for Education is to build stronger bridges between education and the wider community, support learners to make informed career choices and enhance our capacity to meet national and regional skills needs.
“We want to give student’s access to higher education people and spaces to help stimulate their interest and understanding of what computing and ICT is all about. Through summer camps students get hands-on experience of a variety of activities like programming, coding, app design, digital media, web design, gaming and robotics. This can help children develop the computational, and flexible and creative thinking skills that are the basis of computer science and coding.
In 2016, the HEA provided funding to support 29 computing camps for over 1,245 students. Camps typically target transition year students and typically run for a week. Last year, 40% of participants in these ICT summer camps were girls – which is a great achievement.
We also have a target of providing an additional 700 places on computing courses in 2017/18 through the calls issuing today.”

Also speaking about the announcement, Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD said:
“Through the implementation of the ICT Skills Action Plan 2014-2018 we are seeking to increase the supply of ICT Professionals to meet the continuing increase in demand for people with these skills.
Data shows that of our 2015 graduates at Honours Bachelor Degree level, Computer Science/ICT graduates are the highest earners, with 57 per cent earning €29,000 or more with 93% in employment or further study 9 months after graduation.
€2.25 million was ring-fenced in Budget 2017 to support these initiatives. The HEA is notifying the higher education institutions and the closing date for receipt of proposals is 18th April 2017.”

– See more at: http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2017-Press-Releases/PR2017-03-20.html#sthash.6aNJf2v5.dpuf

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