AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation today launched the new website for the One Step Up Information and Referral Service which helps adults find out about their education and training options.
The service comprises a freephone number (1800 303 669), an information booklet and a website, onestepup.ie. This new website provides information on courses, funding supports and contact details for various services to make it easy for adults to find their learning options and access the supports available to them. There is now a host of new videos from learners sharing their experiences of returning to education, highlighting the range of potential routes and a calendar of education-related information events taking place across the country.
The launch of the new One Step Up website coincides with the release of Leaving Certificate results.
Congratulating the adult learners who completed the Leaving Certificate exams this summer, Tara Farrell, AONTAS Chairperson, said: “It is important to acknowledge that many adult learners are amongst the cohort of students who will be receiving their Leaving Certificate results today.
In Ireland, 445,000 people aged 25 to 64 have never completed upper secondary-level education – going back to do the Leaving Cert can be a positive step for early school leavers to achieve their educational goals. We would like to congratulate all adult learners who will receive their Leaving Cert results today and wish them every success.”
Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS highlighted the many alternative options to the Leaving Certificate available to adults wishing to return to learning, saying: “Most Irish people associate the Leaving Certificate with the only recognised formal school leaving examination; the reality is that adult learning offers a wide range of options for adults to achieve the equivalent of the Leaving Certificate standard – QQI Level 4/5. The European Commission’s Upskilling Pathways Recommendation encourages Member States to provide a range of ways to reach Leaving Certificate level, so there is a real commitment to helping adults to achieve the Leaving Certificate or the equivalent.
“In adult education it’s not a case of one size fits all and there are a wide range of courses available from basic education, skills training, access and higher education and personal development programmes depending on the individual needs of the learner.
“Returning to education has a positive impact on individuals, families, and communities across the country and I would encourage anyone curious about the options available to visit onestepup.ie and get started on their learning journey.”
Adult Learner Mamoudou Camara
One of the adult learners celebrating his Leaving Cert results today is Mamoudou Camara, originally from Guinea Conakry in West Africa and now living in Limerick. The 25-year-old received results for his French exam this morning, having completed six subjects last year. Mamoudou took the Leaving Cert course through the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) at the Kilmallock Road Campus of the Limerick Further Education and Training Centre, run by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.
Speaking about his experience of sitting the exams as an adult, Mr. Camara said: “People should take the option of going to VTOS because it helps many school leavers and adult students to get into employment or opens the door for those people would like to continue any courses of their choice at third level. As mature students, VTOS is the best option ever.”
Mamoudou has been accepted to the University of Limerick where he will be studying Business and specialising in Accounting.
One Step Up is part of the ‘Increasing Pathways, Increasing Participation’ project 2017-2019 and is funded with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and co-financed by the Department of Education and Skills through SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority. This project is managed by AONTAS who have been assigned the role of National Co-ordinator for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL).