The Adult Guidance Association (aegai) is delighted to be taking a stand at the Higher Options Conference, for the first time, on 14th to 16th September. We are joining forces with our colleagues in the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) to promote the vital role of guidance within second level and the Further Education and Training (FET) sector.
The Adult Guidance Association represents guidance counsellors and information officers working in the Adult Education Guidance Services funded by Solas and located in the 16 ETBs. The aegai is an organisation that represents the views of its members to ensure the continued development of professional Adult Educational Guidance in Ireland.
The Adult Education Guidance Services provide a fulltime all year round comprehensive guidance and information service to all those over 16 years of age not engaged in education, training or work. In 2015 alone over 50,000 adults availed of our service.
With the rollout of the SOLAS FET strategy in tandem with the Government’s jobs strategy, it has never been more important to promote all the course choices and career options available to young people and adults. The Higher Options Conference has traditionally focused solely on CAO third level courses. Therefore it is essential, with the ever changing needs of the economy that young people are made aware of the range of apprenticeships and traineeships available to them within the ETB PLC colleges and FET centres. The 25 newly launched apprenticeships; including those in Financial Services, Software Development, Logistics, and Hospitality; (providing qualifications from Level 5 to Level 9 on the NFQ) offer wonderful opportunities to those students whose inclination is towards a skills based vocational training course, rather than an academic degree course. Along with the existing standard based apprenticeships in construction electrical plumbing, aviation etc. these new apprenticeships will provide exciting and rewarding career opportunities for those who choose these alternative routes.