20 Feb 2018

FET Learners have Their Voices Heard at Carlow Regional Forum

Learners from Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) are convening at the regional meeting of the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum which is taking place in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow today (21.02.2018).

Ireland is leading the way in making a commitment to learner representation with the establishment of a national Forum. As a learner- centred form of provision, SOLAS is striving to make Further Education and Training a first choice for prospective learners as a means to gain qualifications and secure employment. This Forum acts as a way for learners to directly influence FET provision, their suggestions for improvement will be sought and a clear outline of recommendations communicated to policy makers.

Today’s Forum is organised by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, and is one of a series of regional meetings taking place across the county this year. Over 40 learners have from the Kilkenny and Carlow area have registered for the event.

Speaking in advance of the Forum, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said, “Today’s Forum provides FET learners from Kilkenny and Carlow with the opportunity to have their voices heard, and to influence policy at regional and national level. AONTAS believes that learners are experts of their own learning and we look forward to using the deliberations from today’s Forum in supporting SOLAS and ETBs in creating a world-class FET system that is learner-centred.”

“The establishment of the Forum recognised the importance that must be placed on those at the centre of adult education - the learners themselves, and we look forwarding to consulting with them today.”

The learners in attendance today have been nominated to join the Forum by KCETB and include representatives from Apprenticeships, community education, the Youthreach programme and the Back to Education Initiative.

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.