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European Vocational Training Seminar XXV Edition The recognition and certification of Professional Skills Genova (Italy), 11th -13th September 2013 Presentation by Mick Creedon Manager Ballymun Job Centre. OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION Ireland a profile

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European Vocational Training Seminar

XXV Edition

The recognition and certification of Professional Skills

Genova (Italy), 11th -13th September 2013

Presentation by

Mick Creedon


Ballymun Job Centre



Ireland a profile

Education and Training System In Ireland

  • VET System
  • Qualifications Framework
  • The Importance of Career guidance
main labour force ilo data ireland source irish cso qhs q1 2013 and labour force survey april 2013
Main Labour Force ILO Data, Ireland(source Irish CSO QHS Q1 2013 and Labour Force Survey April 2013)


Population: 4.4M

LFPR: 59

Employment Rate: 59

Unemployment Rate: 13

LTU % Unemployed: 61

national ireland employment context
National: Ireland Employment Context
  • 326,000 Jobs lost in the period 2008 - 2011
  • 450,000 receiving unemployment welfare support
  • 45% signing for 12+ months
  • Rate of unemployment for under 25 is 30%, males under 25 is 35%
  • Responding to this has resulted in major challenges and changes for the education and training sector in Ireland
education and training system ireland
Education and Training System: Ireland

The Department of Education and Science is the Government Department responsible for education in Ireland including VET sector and further education and training outside of the formal education system

Schooling is compulsory from age 6 to 16

Primary education (in Ireland commonly referred to as “first level” education) enrolls children from age 4 to 6 to age 12 or 13

The junior cycle takes three years to complete and leads to the Junior Certificate, obtained upon examination typically at age

15 or 16

The senior cycle takes two years to complete and leads to the Leaving Certificate, typically at age 17 or 18

vet system ireland
VET System: Ireland

Further education and training (FET) embraces education and training which occurs outside the general education and higher education and training systems, and which provides vocationally focussed learning, based on the needs of individuals

FET programmes are offered by a wide range of public and private providers

VET policy focuses more on training programmes for young people and students, programmes for the unemployed and programmes for those in employment

vet system ireland1
VET System: Ireland

After obtaining the Leaving Certificate students may continue in tertiary (“third level”) education or in further education and training

Tertiary education includes programmes of general education provided at universities and colleges, and vocational education provided in institutes of technology.

Further education and training (FET) refers to education and training after second level education, but not as part of the third level system FET programmes are offered by a wide range of public and private providers

VET policy focuses more on training programmes for young people and students, programmes for the unemployed and programmes for those in employment

vet system ireland 2013 reforms
VET System: Ireland 2013 Reforms

The programme of assistance agreed with the EU/ECB/IMF Troika in November 2011 committed Ireland to a structural reform agenda (to maximise the potential for economic growth), a fiscal consolidation strategy (to return government debt to below 3% by 2015) and a reorganisation/recapitalisation of the banking sector.

In the VET and FET Sector the structural reform programme provides for the following:

The establishment of a new Further Education and Training Authority (SOLAS)

Merging of FÁS (the National Training Agency) and 23 Vocational Educational Committees (VEC) into 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs)

The establishment of Qualificationsand Quality Assurance Ireland (QQI)

vet system examples of programmes
VET System: Examples of programmes

Youthreach education programmes to assist directly some 3,313 early school leavers. Focus on young early school leavers aimed at re-integrate students into mainstream education or the labour force with enhanced skills and improved employment prospects.

The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) offers part-time education to 32,066 learners with qualifications less than Leaving Certificate level

Community Education meets the education needs of local groups catering to some 53,415 people

Skills for Work (SFW) training to some 3,000 workers with relatively low qualifications; sometimes in the workplace

ETBs are involved in the provision of adult literacy programmes nationwide catering to some 57,003 – including the provision of English language programmes to 11,017 persons whose first language is other than English

vet system apprenticeship programme
VET System: Apprenticeship programme

Apprentices are required to hold a Junior Certificate, but the majority of apprentices have a Leaving Certificate.

The apprenticeship system is standards-based, and typically lasts for four years

It involves seven phases, three off-the-job (totaling 40 weeks in all) and four on-the-job

During on-the-job phases the employer pays an apprentice during off-the-job phases an allowance is paid

Standards-based apprenticeships are available in a limited number of occupations, in traditional craft sectors (construction, electrical, motor, engineering and printing sector)

Apprentices receive a National Craft Certificate (Level 6) on successful completion of the programme

qualification system
Qualification System

The Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999, established the structures for the National Framework for Qualifications (10 step framework which is equated to the 8 step European Qualifications Framework (EQF))

This enabled the co-ordination of awards and promoted access, transfer and progression within VET

qualification system1
Qualification System

qualification system establishment of qqi
Qualification System: Establishment of QQI

Prior to 2012 Certification was provided by two councils – the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) for levels 1-6 and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) for levels 6-10 (so that both bodies deal with Level 6)

Both FETAC and HEATAC are being amalgamated into a new single agency called –

Qualifications and Quality Assurance Ireland (QQI)



  • The population of the Ballymun area is: 16,236 of which 16.6% are 15 to 24(Source, Irish CSO 2011)
  • High number of single parents (approx. 2,100 / 18% of individuals over 15 / 49.3% of all family units) (Source, CSO 2011)
  • Low level of educational attainment and low income
  • __________________________________________________

Highest level of educational attainment (percentages) (Source, Irish CSO 2011)

National Dublin city Ballymun

Lower Sec or less 32 31 49

Degree or higher 25 32 9

Previous Education and Experience

Ability to cope /Motivation



Occupational Knowledge

Decision Making Skills

Environmental & Practical Problems

Barriers faced by clients



The BJC was established in 1986 as a community response to a chronic unemployment situation

The BJC is a voluntary organisation with charitable status it is a co-operative and is managed by a Board of Management

Since 1996 BJC manages the Local Employment Services Network (Contract with Ballymun Whitehall Partnership)

Over the years the BJC has built relationships and worked closely with a wide range of public, private, European and community organisations



Employer Support

Employer contact

Promoting local labour, needs of hard to place clients

Processing Job Orders and placement

Client Services

Career guidance, advise, planning and job matching (access to aptitude tests)

Special guidance service for individuals recovering from drug problems and disadvantaged young people

Provision of basic and specific skills training, with a focus on innovative training that is not provided by other agencies/organisation

CV and interview preparation: Jobs Club

Placement and follow-up

  • Innovative Projects and Research
  • Development of innovative actions and research that will have the capacity to
  • positively influence “mainstream” services for the clients and
  • improve the quality of our services

Why Focus on Career Guidance?

  • Jobseekers are not often in a position to fulfill their full potential in the employment market
  • Job seekers are often unaware of their own interests, specific aptitudes and personality style, this lack of self knowledge can inhibit the individual in accessing appropriate vocational training and subsequently fulfilling employment
  • Lack of awareness of the options available to them
  • The lack of an appropriate career guidance process can often mean that uninformed career decisions are made based on the availability of training/education courses

Why Focus on Career Guidance?

  • Provides the unemployed with clarity regarding their employment interests and aptitudes
  • Assist in identifying areas of employment that stimulates an individual’s interest
  • For adults returning to the workplace or to education and training, an appropriate career guidance process can greatly assist in the making of well informed decisions about the direction which best meets the needs of the individual
  • The outcome of the guidance process can play an important role in influencing the design and implementation of quality labour market orientated education and training

BJC: Career Guidance Service

  • Aim of the service is to increase/raise levels
    • self awareness
    • motivation
    • self esteem
    • self efficacy
    • career clarity etc.
    • develop realistic career development plans


INFORM is a system that assists clients who are unaware of their competencies (developed in everyday life such as managing a household/doing the shopping/looking after children/watching TV/ participating in sports etc.)

Aim to identify the competencies that they have already developed which may be transferable to the labour market / can be used as a springboard into education /training /further career guidance.

The tool is very much pitched at clients who are vulnerable and who may feel that they have very few skills/abilities...the real benefit of using this tool is to motivate clients who may have weaker skills (including literacy) / low self esteem or who feel they have little to offer to the world of work.




Practitioner Training August 2008



  • EGUIDE is a web based career guidance tool consisting of a number of career guidance assessments (which form part of the EGUIDE Quality Framework for guiding disadvantaged job seekers).
  • In traditional guidance processes the practitioner assists the client to become more aware of their Interests, their preferred behavioural style and their specific aptitudes. EGUIDE uses a positive psychological approach
  • Builds confidence in ones own skills, abilities and competencies
  • Identifies potential
  • Dialogue tool
  • The EGUIDE tool aims to support the practitioner in this process.