New college is set to totally reshape Cork's education offering

The Cork College of FET, recently launched by the Cork Education and Training Board, will provide a host of flexible and technology-enabled learning opportunities
New college is set to totally reshape Cork's education offering

The Pathway to Your Future! Pictured at the launch of Cork College of FET were John Fitzgibbons, Director of Further Education & Training at Cork ETB, with Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher, Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins, Denis Leamy, Chief Executive of Cork ETB, and SOLAS CEO Andrew Brownlee.

The issue of equality is one that has come to the forefront time and time again throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

From seeing how underdeveloped countries suffered from extremely limited access to global vaccine supplies, to watching those in our own country's essential services take on the toughest chapter of their professional lives while others got to take a career break of sorts, many people’s perception of how equal our society is has been reshaped by the events of the past two years.

It’s no wonder then, that the Cork Education and Training Board (Cork ETB) are now bouncing back from the pandemic with a stronger emphasis on equality than ever before.

Pre-pandemic, Cork ETB catered to almost 20,000 learners across more than 60 centres in 2019 alone.
Pre-pandemic, Cork ETB catered to almost 20,000 learners across more than 60 centres in 2019 alone.

They are aiming to revolutionise education - particularly the issue of equal access to education – right across the county region. To do this, they are unveiling an exciting new, consolidated and integrated identity for their Further Education and Training colleges, centres and services: Cork College of FET.

The ethos of Cork College of FET is reflected by a powerful quote from António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; “Let us prioritise education as a public good; support it with cooperation, partnerships and funding; and recognise that leaving no one behind starts with education.” 

Much like the Secretary-General was trying to represent the increasingly pressing need for the provision of equal and attainable education across the globe, Cork ETB have recognised that same need much closer to home. Their new venture, Cork College of FET, aims to eradicate that need by ensuring that education is available to all.

Watch the full launch of Cork College of FET here.

Cork College of FET has at its core the principle of ensuring that pathways for a truly lifelong learning experience are created, that all learners are provided with the opportunities and supports necessary for their personal and educational development and growth, and that the options available support the economic development of the wider Cork region.

(Left to right) Helen Ryan, Principal of Cork College of FET Morrison's Island Campus, Minister Niall Collins, Martyna Wiktorowicz, a learner at Cork College of FET, Denis Leamy, Andrew Brownlee, Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher, Paula McCarthy, Principal at Cork College of FET Douglas Street Campus and John Fitzgibbons, pictured at the launch of Cork College of FET.
(Left to right) Helen Ryan, Principal of Cork College of FET Morrison's Island Campus, Minister Niall Collins, Martyna Wiktorowicz, a learner at Cork College of FET, Denis Leamy, Andrew Brownlee, Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher, Paula McCarthy, Principal at Cork College of FET Douglas Street Campus and John Fitzgibbons, pictured at the launch of Cork College of FET.

The colleges, centres and services that fall under the Cork College of FET umbrella each share those same values and motivations, as they unite to not only provide, but widen the pathways for every learner. In addition to this, future plans for Cork College of FET incorporate a significant emphasis on the provision of flexible and technology-enabled learning opportunities and a range of new apprenticeships, as well as implementing a ‘green campus’ approach and philosophy across all constituent elements of the College with a focus on embedding sustainable development principles. 

Each College is now a Campus and will have the prefix, ‘Cork College of FET’, followed by the name of their Campus:

  • Cork Training Centre is now - Bishopstown Campus 
  • St. John’s Central College is now - Douglas Street Campus 
  • Kinsale College of Further Education is now - Kinsale Campus 
  • Mallow College of Further Education is now - Mallow Campus 
  • Cork College of Commerce is now - Morrison's Island Campus 
  • CSN College of Further Education is now - Tramore Road Campus

The reshaping of Cork’s existing further education and training offering is an especially timely event, with the deadline for Higher Education CAO applications approaching on 1st July. As Cork ETB redefine their offering through this newly-launched College of Further Education, it serves as a reminder of the endless opportunities that are available right across their campuses and services.

The launch of Cork College of FET comes just in time for those filling out this year's CAO forms and exploring the region's educational opportunities.
The launch of Cork College of FET comes just in time for those filling out this year's CAO forms and exploring the region's educational opportunities.

Commenting on the new overarching umbrella, Denis Leamy, Chief Executive of Cork ETB said: “I would highly encourage those embarking on the daunting process of completing their CAO application to consider any one of the Cork College of FET campuses as a valued and viable choice. The collective prospectus that incorporates each of these fantastic campuses is filled with options – not only for school leavers, but for adults alike – that provide clear pathways to further educational and career-based progression.” 

He added: “The decision to create an overarching entity of specialist campuses with the introduction of Cork College of FET has been a long time coming, and we’re so excited about the opportunities it is creating. It is a community-focused strategy, meaning the possibilities that can emerge from the development of this new structure will benefit us collectively, as well as on an individual level. We are honoured to be a part of the changing educational landscape of Cork and look forward to introducing our future students to life at Cork College of FET.” 

Echoing Mr. Leamy’s comments, Director of Further Education and Training at Cork ETB, John Fitzgibbons, said; “We take our responsibility as champions of further education in Cork extremely seriously. In 2019 alone, we catered to almost 20,000 learners across more than 60 centres throughout the region. While this figure was impacted over the past couple of years due to COVID-related restrictions, we’re thrilled and hopeful to be emerging stronger than ever in 2022, for many people undertaking their further education journeys with Cork Education and Training Board,” Mr. Fitzgibbons added.

For more information on Cork College of FET, Cork Education and Training Board’s Further Education and Training Services, visit https://www.corketb.ie/fet. 

For updates, visit Cork Education and Training Board or Cork ETB on YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. 

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