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CAO points rise but plenty of options available

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The news last week that a record 84,000 people have applied to CAO this year has caused extra worry among Leaving Cert students at a time that is already stressful. The rise in applicants is likely to put extra pressure on the points system but work is happening behind the scenes in Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and by the Department of Higher Education to provide more places to alleviate the pressure. Three thousand extra places have already been allocated with the promise of more in the coming weeks. While you have no control over the points, you do have control over the practical steps you can take to make sure you give yourself every chance of moving on to the next exciting part of your career journey.

CHANGE OF MIND

Use the CAO Change of Mind facility up to the July 1 deadline to ensure that you have included up to 10 course options on both Level 8 and Level 7/6 lists. By filling up all 20 you give yourself a great chance to get offered a place. Points vary hugely between different colleges even for similar courses. Always check the entry requirements and module details of the course and the golden rule is to rank your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points. A guide to the Change of Mind facility is available on www.cao.ie.

PLC

Apply for Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses in Colleges of Further Education (FE). Entry to these Level 5/6 courses is not based on points and the selection of options available mean that there is something for everyone. As well as preparing you to go into the work place, these courses give you a great introduction to and foundation in a particular area and a QQI FET/FETAC qualification, which once completed allows you to apply for progression routes into HEIs through CAO. A quota of college places on many CAO courses each year are reserved for QQI FET applicants which students can apply for on a competitive basis and there are also extensive opportunities in colleges in the UK and Europe. Details of courses can be found on www.fetchcourses.ie and for information on progression routes see the QQI FET/FETAC section of www.cao.ie.

APPRENTICESHIPS

Take a look at the expanding number of apprenticeships available, which provide skills-based training where participants get to ‘earn while they learn’. Under a new five-year Government plan numbers are set to double up 10,000 apprentices a year. Outside of the traditional ‘craft’ apprenticeships there are multiple options across many sectors including, ICT, finance, insurance, logistics, sales, agriculture, hairdressing and many more. Check out www.apprenticeship.ie.

TRAINEESHIPS

Look at the options available in traineeships which are offered through FE Colleges and Education and Training Boards (ETBs) of which there are approximately 75 nationally. Traineeships include at least 30% work-based training in areas where there is an identified skills need. You will find the details on www.solas.ie/programmes/traineeship.

​​​​​​​STUDY ABROAD

Take a look at study abroad options. A growing number of Irish students opt to study abroad each year with the UK and Europe being the most popular options. In many colleges in Europe, fees are cheaper and entry requirements are much more attainable than here in Ireland. While some deadlines have passed, there are a number of colleges overseas that are still accepting applications. Check out www.eunicas.ie and www.medicalpoland.ie for details. Students can apply for vacant college places in the UK through the UCAS Clearing system which opens on July 5 on www.ucas.com.

NATIONAL LEARNING NETWORK

Explore the National Learning Network which has over 40 centres across the country offering specialist training and support services for students and adults who need special support. You can get more information on www.rehab.ie/national-learning-network.

The key thing to remember is that there is not just one pathway for everyone but several possibilities. Explore them all and identify what options will work best for you going forward.

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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardai seek whereabouts of missing Kerry teen

Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager. Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3). He is described as being […]

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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