Minister of State at the Department of Justice James Browne TD and Minister for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD have launched a guidance document to help young people in Youth Diversion Projects access Further Education and Training related opportunities.

This includes:

  • apprenticeships
  • traineeships
  • Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses
  • community and adult education
  • core literacy
  • numeracy services

Details are also included with regard to the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) which is a higher education admissions scheme for Leaving Certificate students (under 23) whose economic or social background are underrepresented in higher education.


Minister Browne said:

We know that young people who leave formal education prematurely and do not make the transition into employment can be permanently affected in terms of longer-term life outcomes.

Providing pathways back into education and training is an essential part of our Youth Justice response because it provides at-risk young people with opportunities to turn their life around.

This guide brings together the details of further education and training options available across the country to young people no longer in the formal school system.

Our Youth Justice workers, who do amazing work helping young people across the country, will have a key role in matching young people with available training and other opportunities that suit their needs and interests.

The potential negative impacts of being outside of the formal education sector are recognised in the Youth Justice Strategy 2021 – 2027, which contains a strategic objective to address the effects of disengagement from education and early school leaving, and support those who may be vulnerable to disengagement.

Minister Collins said:

Further education and training is available in every county in Ireland. It can offer any person, regardless of any previous level of education, a pathway to take them as far as they want to go.

The range of courses expands from law to childcare, to hairdressing and ICT.

There is something there for everyone.

Today’s announcement brings together key information on what is available and how to access it, and it is there for you when you need it, for whatever you need it for.

Throughout life, regardless of present or past circumstances educational opportunities are available for everyone right across country.

I would encourage support services and all who come into contact with young people to use the guide to ensure the breadth of education and training options are known to them and their families.

Minister Rabbitte said:

Formal education is a cornerstone of societal progress, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of every child.

It provides a structured and comprehensive framework for acquiring essential knowledge, skills, and values that empower individuals to navigate the complexities of an ever-changing world.

Beyond imparting academic knowledge, formal education fosters critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and social skills, laying the foundation for well-rounded and responsible citizens.

Moreover, it promotes equality by offering all children, regardless of their socio-economic background, an equal opportunity to access knowledge and unlock their potential. In cultivating a literate and educated populace, formal education becomes a catalyst for economic development, innovation, and social cohesion.

As our government  invests in the education of its youth, it invests in its own prosperity, ensuring a brighter and more inclusive future for generations to come.

Youth Justice workers and young people participating in Youth Diversion Projects (YDPs) will now have a nationwide list of the Education & Training Boards (ETBs), Adult Guidance Information Service contact points and details on the type of Further Education and Training (FET) opportunities that are available.


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