Leaving Certificate Class of 2017 can look forward to a bright future – Provided they pursue education and training paths that match their attitudes and interests
While this is certainly a significant day for the Leaving Certificate class of 2017, 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 another milestone on a young person’s journey through life. It is not a make-or-break event, although the hype surrounding the release of the Leaving Certificate results might suggest otherwise.
We need to see Leaving Certificate results in perspective.
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.
It is important that young people and those who influence them are aware of the changing education and training landscape.
There is growing acknowledgement that further education (PLC courses), traineeships and apprenticeships can provide excellent progression routes for many school leavers. Going straight on to third-level at 18 is not necessarily the best option.
For example, on Tuesday Minister Bruton launched Ireland’s first Accounting Technician apprenticeship http://accountingtechnicianapprenticeship.ie/. This is an attractive option, as young people can earn as they learn.
The online Further Education and Training Course Hub (https://www.fetchcourses.ie/ carries full details of the thousands of further education and training opportunities that are offered by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) right across the country. These opportunities are relevant not only to school leavers but to people of all ages interested in improving their job prospects and/or the quality of their lives – whether in work, unemployed or retired.
Young people should be aware that 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, it is now widely accepted that 60% of the jobs 10 years from now haven’t been invented yet.
Facing this kind of uncertainty, the class of 2017 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 a deep recession, the Leaving Certificate class of 2017 can be optimistic about its future. Our economy is swinging upwards and those getting their results today can look forward to a buoyant job market. 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 2017 can write the script for their own futures – provided they build their education and career on what they are good at.