Leaving Certificate Class of 2015 Face Bright Futures Provided they Pursue Education and Training Paths that Match Their Aptitudes and Interests
While today is undoubtedly an important ‘milestone’ for the Leaving Certificate class of 2015, it is important to see the day in perspective, says Michael Moriarty, General Secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI). Mr Moriarty states:
‘Ultimately, the Leaving Certificate is but one of several landmarks on a person’s journey through life. It is not, and never has been, a make-or-break event, though the hype surrounding the release of the Leaving Certificate results hugely pressurises young people and their families into seeing it as such.
‘More than anything else young people need to get themselves into courses and careers that match their aptitudes and interests. Otherwise, they will either drop out or, having qualified, discover that they cannot cope with work that is not suited to them.
‘In a world of constant flux and change, it is important that young people and those who influence them are aware of the shifting education and training landscape. Across Europe, further education and training, rather than third-level education, is seen more and more as the engine for human progress in the 21st century. Here, it is worth noting that apprenticeship in Ireland is currently very much on an upward curve, with apprentice registrations for the existing 27 trades, up 40 percent on what they were at the same point in 2013, and the forecast for future apprenticeship registrations looking very promising. Furthermore, we have had the recent government announcement that 25 new apprenticeships will be established in new sectors (business administration and management, manufacturing and engineering, tourism and sport, financial services, arts craft and media, transport distribution and logistics, and so on.) over the course of the next year to 18 months.
‘Trying to picking the winning career at 18 is a dangerous game, since even the experts can’t predict with any certainty what the future will be like. Indeed, as the futurist Thomas Frey argues, 60% of the jobs 10 years from now haven’t been invented yet.
‘In this world of constant flux and change, the class of 2015 must have three priorities: selecting education and training paths that build on their aptitudes and interests, acquiring the capacity to go on learning for the whole of their lives, and developing the disposition to take personal responsibility for adapting to ever-changing circumstances.
‘Thankfully, after nearly a decade of deep recession,’ says Mr Moriarty, ‘the Leaving Certificate class of 2015 can be optimistic about its future. All indications are that the economic curve is swinging upwards and that those getting their results today will enter a rapidly expanding workforce. This is the message that these young people should hear from all of us this week.
‘Whether young people are happy or unhappy with their results today will be of little no significance in the longer term.
It is what they do in the next phase of their life that will really matter. And the class of 2015 can write the script for their own futures – provided they build their education and career on what they are good at.’