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Changes to CAO website a game changer for students – Kehoe

5th November 2021 - Paul Kehoe

The promotion of further education options and apprenticeships on the CAO website will be a game changer for school-leavers, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Wexford TD Deputy Paul Kehoe, Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said the announcement from Minister Simon Harris today is hugely significant for school leavers across the country.

Deputy Kehoe said, “For the first time ever, the full range of options will be available to school-leavers when they log on to the CAO website today.

“This will include further education, training and apprenticeships for the first time ever. We know there are lots of opportunities out there, but sometimes it is hard to get a clear picture of what might suit you. These changes will help address that.

“As chair of the Oireachtas committee on education, I really want to welcome these improvements which will ensure further education and apprenticeships are no longer hidden away and are now on the same par as higher education.”

The CAO website goes live at 12pm today. There will be approximately 430 PLC courses available via the weblink and a one-stop-shop for information and guidance on national apprenticeships will be available via a link on with information on how to become an apprentice, what you will earn while you learn and the qualifications you will achieve.

All applications for further education and apprenticeships will continue to be made through the traditional channels, though applicants will be able to navigate to these channels from the CAO website.

Further changes will be made next year to allow students apply directly through the CAO website.

Minister Harris said, “I really want to thank Deputy Kehoe for his support on this. These are important steps we are taking today.

“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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