CAO Overhaul

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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The Higher Education Minister Simon Harris spoke earlier today about plans to reform the CAO system.

The changes will feature access to apprenticeships and highlighting alternative paths to college. This is in line with the the Department of Further Education’s three-year strategy aiming to increase apprenticeships to 10,000 every year.

Under the current system the CAO doesn’t include applications for apprenticeships, or education options outside third level such as further education traineeships or courses.

Such an overhaul is due, according to Harris, to reflect the growing number of options for school leavers in the further education and apprenticeships sectors.

The revamped strategy is being led by SOLAS, the State agency for building FET programmes.

The new plans envision one platform which will offer college and university courses alongside other avenues on one single portal.

Harris said it is a real chance to overhaul and change the culture and conversation about education after secondary school and highlight that university is not the only way to progress in life.

Speaking today, Harris said: “The Department has ambitious goals to reform our higher education sector, to grow our research and innovation system and to develop the skills agenda.

“At the heart of our Department is an objective to ensure everyone regardless of their background, age, gender, or address – achieves their best potential, whether that is through education or the workforce.

“The pandemic has also made us confront many of the challenges we face and I believe this Department offers a unique opportunity to ensure nobody is left behind as we rebuild and recover.”


Steven Galvin

IFI Careers 2021 Events
MA In Global Cultures And Languages @ UCC


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