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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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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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Caring group craft charity blankets

By Michelle Crean One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity. Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members […]

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By Michelle Crean

One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity.

Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members of Kilcummin Community Care worked together to make blankets for service users on the Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus.

“Each blanket is assigned as a personal gift to the clients using the Cancer Link Bus and is kept by them,” Kate Fleming, Chairperson of Kilcummin Community Care, said.

The knitting of the squares to make the blankets began at a gathering in the Rose Hotel in 2018. It was a gathering of different volunteer groups.

The Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus were requesting knitted squares to make blankets for the clients who were using their facilities, she explained.

“Kilcummin Community Care were knitting at the time, so it was decided to help out this worthy cause. We received donations of wool from people in the parish and surrounding areas. Kilcummin ICA also got involved in the efforts.”

During the two years of COVID-19, members of both organisations continued to knit and are still knitting to the present day.

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