CAO Website Embraces Further Education & Apprenticeships

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Last week the CAO website opened its online applications for college places for the 2022 academic year.

This year’s application process has extended beyond third level education to include increased options across higher education, further education and training, and apprenticeships for school leavers and other applicants.

The CAO website will function as a portal for applications for further education and apprenticeships to navigate to the traditional channels, eg & . The idea is that the enhanced system will allow students to see the full range of third-level options in one place for the first time.

Encouraging access to education for all, the enhanced CAO website currently provides students with access to over 650 Further Education and Training options and 62 apprenticeship programmes, as well as the traditional Higher Education university options.

Further Education and Training

Further Education and Training at Levels 5 and 6 features full-time accredited programmes, including Post Leaving Certificate courses (PLCs), that include a substantial work experience component. Many of which offer an access route to further third-level studies.

Apprenticeship Programmes

Apprenticeship programmes at Levels 5-10 features accredited programmes of structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education or training centre.

A freephone  phone number available for guidance on apprenticeships is 1800 794 487  open 12pm-6pm Monday-Friday.

Higher Education

Higher Education at Levels 6/7 and 8 features Honours degrees, ordinary degrees, diplomas and higher certificates.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said, “This will change the conversation at kitchen tables across the country – one that reflects education is for everyone and there is no right or wrong choice, just different ones.

“This is a major step but it is one of many we intend to take to make our third level sector more inclusive and one that delivers for all students.”

He added: “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.”



Steven Galvin

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