‘Everyone in Ireland, whatever their background, whatever their educational experience, should be able to find a pathway into education.’ That’s according to Dr. Joseph Collins, Director of Further Education and Training (FET) at Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) who delivered the opening address at the ‘Pathways – Pathways to FET, Pathways in FET, Pathways from FET’ Conference, in Athlone last week.

With 250 delegates in attendance from across the 16 regional Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the two-day event welcomed national and international experts in further education and training to share knowledge and best practices in catering to the needs of a diverse range of learners.

Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Harris said: “Over recent years we have worked incredibly hard to ensure no one is left behind when it comes to education. No matter who you are, what your background is or what your interests are you get an opportunity to reach your full potential. This conference is a timely opportunity, The impact ETBs have had on the learners but also on the wider communities they serve has been transformative. This two day event is an invaluable opportunity to come together to learn from each other, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead”.

Triin Laasi Oige, from the Department of Education in Estonia, addressed the delegation on vocational education reform currently taking place in Estonia, including the value of learning in the country’s economic and social development.

Other keynote speakers at the event included:

  • Dr. Justin Rami, Director of the Further Education and Training Research Centre at Dublin City University.
  • David Jones, Chair of the International Panel at the Transformation Office in DFHERIS.
  • Sonya Lennon, designer, broadcaster, campaigner and a former FET learner.
  • David Delaney, author and motivational speaker, from University College Dublin.

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