24 Mar 2019

FET learners from Cavan and Monaghan ETB have their voices heard at National FET Learner Forum in Cootehill

Press Release

59 learners from Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) convened at a regional meeting of the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum recently. The meeting took place at the Errigal House Hotel in Cootehill and involved learners from a variety of FET courses offered by CMETB.

The National FET Learner Forum is a collaborative effort between AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation; SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority; and Education and Training Boards (ETBs). This meeting was one of a series of regional meetings that are taking place across the country this year.

Ireland is leading the way in making a commitment to learner voice with the establishment of a National FET Learner Forum. As a learner-centred form of provision, SOLAS is striving to make Further Education and Training (FET) responsive to learner needs. This Forum acts as a way for learners to directly influence FET provision. Their suggestions for improvement will result in a clear outline of recommendations which AONTAS will share directly with policy makers and ETBs.

Speaking about today's Forum, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “The Forum provides FET learners from Cavan and Monaghan with the opportunity to have their voices heard, and to help shape further education at local, regional and national level. AONTAS believes that learners are experts of their own learning, they can identify what is working and what improvements are needed to ensure learner success, retention and progression. We look forward to using the deliberations from the Forum in supporting SOLAS and ETBs in creating a world-class FET system that is learner-centred.”

Deirdre Byrne, Adult Education Officer (AEO) of CMETB said: “CMETB strive to provide a quality service responsive to the needs of learners and industry locally.  We continually update our programmes and facilities and recognise the need to listen to the needs and recommendations of our customers- our learners. We welcome this opportunity to hear from our learners, to learn how they view our service and how they feel we can provide even better further education and training programme throughout counties Cavan and Monaghan. We look forward to receiving the feedback and putting into action some of the recommendations.”

If you are thinking of going back to education further information on AONTAS can be found here: or you can call AONTAS on 1800 303 669 or check out the range of programmes available in Cavan and Monaghan ETB at