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Changes to CAO website include apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers in Waterford

Enhancements to the CAO website will include further education and apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers in Waterford, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

The CAO website goes live today at 12pm and for the first time the portal will include options across higher education, further education and training, and apprenticeships for school leavers and other applicants.

Senator Cummins said, “The changes to the CAO website from my colleague Minister Simon Harris will allow students to see the full range of third-level options in one place for the first time.

“Students across Waterford will now have access to over 400 Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses and 62 apprenticeship programmes, as well as university options, on the enhanced CAO portal.

“Access to education for all is a key priority for Fine Gael in Government and this is just one more step in breaking down the barriers to third level. As part of last month’s Budget 2022, Minister Harris announced the abolition of the €200 course levy, which will apply to all PLC courses in the Waterford & Wexford ETB area from next September.

“The inclusion of apprenticeships on the CAO website speaks to the societal shift that has occurred over the past few years. Students, teachers and parents recognise there is so much more than university to consider when thinking about life post Leaving Cert.

“This is a significant step in making our third level sector a more inclusive environment which caters to the needs and skills of all school-leavers in Waterford. It is a change which reflects education, of some form or another, is for all – but the ‘one size fits all’ model is now a thing of the past.”

Minister Harris said: “I really want to pay tribute to the CAO, Solas and ETBI for coming together to bring this to this point. This is an important day for this Department and our third level sector.

“Across the country over the next few months, Leaving Cert students will be considering their next steps in life. We have so many industries offering diverse and interesting careers and there are so many ways to get there. If full time education isn’t for you, then we have options that are.”

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