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Leaving Certificate Class of 2016 Can Look Forward to a Bright Future

Provided They Pursue Education and Training Paths  that Match Their Aptitudes and Interests

While this is certainly a significant day for the Leaving Certificate class of 2016, it is important to keep this ‘milestone’ in perspective, says Michael Moriarty, General Secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI). Mr Moriarty states:

Ultimately, the Leaving Certificate is just one of several milestones on a young person’s journey through life. It is not, and never has been, a make-or-break event, although the hype surrounding the release of the Leaving Certificate results can put huge pressure on young people and their families to perceive it as such.

Whatever their examination results are today, young people need, more than anything else, to get themselves into courses and careers that match their aptitudes and interests. Otherwise, they could either drop out or, having qualified, discover that they cannot cope with work that is not suited to them.ETBI-Logo

It is important that young people and those who influence them are aware of the shifting education and training landscape. There is growing acknowledgement that further education and traineeships and apprenticeships pathways are comparable in status and value to third level, and the many excellent further education courses and rapidly expanding apprenticeships can often be more suitable options for thousands of school leavers at this point in their lives.

Trying to pick 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.

Facing this kind of uncertainty, the class of 2016 should have three priorities: selecting education 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, the Leaving Certificate class of 2016 can be optimistic about its future. All indications are that the economy is swinging upwards and that those getting their results today will enter the workforce. This is the message that these young people should be hearing from all of us this week.

Mr Moriarty concludes:

Whether young people are pleased or displeased with today’s results will not be hugely significant in the long term. It is what they do in the next phase of their life that matters. And the class of 2016 can write the script for their own futures – provided they build their education and career on what they are good at.

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