National FET Learner Forum

Learner voice is at the heart of AONTAS’ work. The Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum is a large-scale project designed to ensure FET is actively engaging learner voice and creating policy that is responsive to learner needs.

FET Learners As Leaders

Empowering Advocates in Further Education and Training

The objectives of this two day programme include:

• Building learner capacity

• Strengthening learner communities

• Developing leadership and representation

• Learning to engage with stakeholders

Participating Education and Training Boards (ETBs) include Cork ETB and Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB. For more information or to arrange a similar programme for learners in your Education and Training Board, please contact AONTAS Project Officer, Kalianne Farren: kfarren@aontas.com.

To learn more about the programme, check out a sample agenda here.

Please support these activities online by following or using the hashtags #FETLearnerForum and #LearnersAsLeaders.


Virtual FET Learner Forum: We've moved online and we're still listening to your learner voice!

With the changes to learning that have occurred as a result of COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to listen to the experiences of adult learners in Ireland and to share #LearnerVoice. We are continuing to listen to learner voice and feed the experiences of adult learners during COVID-19 back to SOLAS and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

National FET Learner Forum - Learner Facilitator Training: AONTAS is expanding opportunities for learners who have previously taken part in the National FET Learner Forum. To continue empowering learners to authentically share their voice, 5 learners will complete 3 online training sessions in August/September 2021 to become facilitators with the National FET Learner Forum. Learners who take part in this training will be supported to join AONTAS' pool of facilitators for the next academic year of online National FET Learner Forum events. Learners will be trained in using the Zoom platform, directing discussions, and note-taking. There is the potential to take part in paid work with the National FET Learner Forum following this training.


Interested in sharing your experiences of learning during COVID-19? If you would like to take part or find out more, email Kalianne Farren at kfarren@aontas.com.

Visit our Events page to see a calendar of the upcoming virtual FET Learner Forums.

Since its launch, the Forum has reached over 1500 learners. The project consists of one national event and a series of 16 regional events held at Education and Training Boards across Ireland each year. At each event, learners from across the FET sector are asked to share their experience in FET and offer recommendations on how to improve services. Learners’ responses are documented and reported back to key stakeholders to be used in future policy planning.

For up-to-date information on Forum events, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with the hashtags:

#LearnerVoice and #FETLearnerForum

The 2019 National Event

The fourth annual national event was held on Tuesday 9th April 2019. This event served as the learner consultation on the new FET Strategy planned for 2020. It was attended by over 150 people, consisting of learners, tutors, and policy makers.

To find out more about the Forum, watch our video.

Play Video

WHAT LEARNERS HAVE SAID

The value of FET
"Being part of further education has helped me to find new friends and it’s helped me with my confidence"

Importance of Learner Voice
"They need to know our needs. If we’re at the centre of it, they need to know what we want, what we decide"

Improvements To FET Advertisement
"Why is FET not advertised like the other schools and universities when we are doing similar things?"

Funded by

  • Learning works
  • Government of Ireland