29 Mar 2019

FET learners from Laois and Offaly ETB have their voices heard at National FET Learner Forum in Tullamore

Press Release

49 learners from Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) convened at a regional meeting of the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum recently. The meeting took place at the Tullamore FET Centre and involved learners from a variety of FET courses offered by LOETB. 

The National FET Learner Forum is a collaborative effort between AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation; SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority; and ETBs. This meeting was one of a series of regional meetings that will take 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 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 Laois and Offaly 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.”

Colin Flaherty, Further Education in LOETB said: “Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board are delighted to be involved in the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum. The Forum further emphasises the significance of the learner voice and is one of a number of opportunities that LOETB learners have to provide meaningful feedback.  LOETB place huge importance on prioritising the voice of the learner so that we can continue to provide the highest standards of education and training across the region.”

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 Laois and Offaly ETB at