Returning to learning as an adult can be challenging, especially if early experiences of education were difficult. LWETB Adult Education Guidance Service offers information, advice and guidance on training, education and careers for adults who are interested in returning to education.
We can offer this before, during or after the course. We are keen to help those who feel they did not do well at school or who left school early and who now want a second chance to improve their education.
To explore the complete choice of courses available and learn more about the authority’s Further Education and Training provision, please use our ‘Search for Courses‘ application below.
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Quality Assurance Support
Our Quality Assurance Support Service has responsibility for managing the development, implementation, evaluation and review of an effective, integrated Quality Assurance system for all the authority’s Further Education and Training provision. For more information on all our QA procedures, please click here.
Adult Learning Scheme (ALS)
ALS provides a confidential basic education service for improving reading, writing, numeracy and ICT skills. An informal assessment is carried out with the learner before tuition begins. One-to one and small group tuition is available. Learners can receive up to 8 hours tuition per week and programmes are designed around the needs of the learners. Accreditation is available at NFQ levels 1, 3 and 3. The ALS provides classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). A language level assessment is carried out before the learner is assigned a class. Classes are organised subject to availability of funding. The ALS provides classes in partnership with Skills for Work for adults in employment whose literacy and/or numeracy skills are below level 3 on the NFQ. Find out more.
Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
BTEI offers part time education options for those aged 16 or over. BTEI offers Major and Minor QQI Awards at Levels 3, 4 and 5. It gives individuals the opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities. Courses are offered countywide. Courses are free of charge for those with less than upper second level education (Leaving Certificate or equivalent) and those in receipt of a social welfare payment or medical card holders. Find out more.
Community Education is outside the formal education sector, with the aims of enhancing learning, fostering empowerment and contributing to civic society. The content of the courses are based on the needs of individuals and communities. The community education service facilitates and supports community based adult education classes for a range of groups through the provision of tutor hours in Longford and Westmeath. Community education groups and voluntary organisations are invited to apply for this service every November. Priority is given to community education courses that engage individuals and groups who experience particular barriers to participation in adult learning and increase participation in community activity. Find out more.
Evening Training (ET)
Accredited evening training courses are offered throughout the county. Evening training courses are part time, one or two evenings per week for up to 15 weeks and can provide learners or employees with an opportunity to supplement existing learning or to up-skill
Self-Financing Night Classes
Fee paying night classes that may be offered by some of Longford Westmeath ETB post primary schools.
LWETB is committed to providing courses relevant to the needs of industry and wants to hear from you if there is a course that your employees need. In the programme formats listed below, we can arrange to deliver bespoke programmes for individual companies or groups of companies. Bespoke courses are designed and delivered in conjunction with employers. In some instances, the programmes is delivered to employees from the one organisation (mimimum numbers apply). In other instances, several employers may come together to address a common training need.
Skills to Advance
STA is an initiative enabling employees to upskill or reskill. It is targeted support for employees in all parts of the workforce whose skills level is below level 5 on the NFQ. Also, for those in vulnerable groups in the Irish workforce, particularly those who have lower skill levels and who need more opportunities to advance their working lives. This initiative offers valuable skills development opportunities to those in lower skilled jobs, working in small and medium sized enterprise in vulnerable sectors.
Skills for Work
SFW is a national programme aimed a providing training opportunities to help self-employed and/or employees deal with the basic skills demands of the workplace. The initiative is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Education and managed locally by LWETB. Types of courses offered include; Internet, Email, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Personal and Interpersonal Skills, Professional Development, Workplace Communications, English Language, Herd Registration courses for Farmers, etc. There is no charge for SFW, courses can be adapted to employees needs and run onsite/offsite at flexible times. Course may be either accredited or non-accredited.
Explore is specifically targeted at providing lifelong learning for those over 35 years of age in manufacturing employment. The programme is run in conjunction with and funded by the Regional Skills for Work and aims to upskill employees in technology and IT and create productivity improvement and workplace innovation. The course is run 2 days offsite with a specialist facilitator working onsite over 7 weeks to develop onsite systems to enhance methods of work or productivity. Projects are developed in conjunction with local management. Courses are non-accredited but progression to other courses is discussed.
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
The VTOS Scheme provides a range of courses to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people. It gives learners opportunities to improve their general level of education, gain certification, develop their skills and prepare for employment, self-employment and further and higher education and training. To be eligible for VTOS you must be aged 21 or over and in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for 156 days (6 months) or more. On the programme you receive a VTOS allowance at the rate equivalent to your Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance payment. Find out more.
The programme is aimed at young people between the ages of 15 and 20 years of age who may have no or low formal certification. Youthreach/Youthreach Progression provide QQI level 3 and 4 courses as well as the Leaving Certificate Applied programme. In required cases, specific learning programmes are delivered. Built into the youthreach programme are supports Counselling and Advocacy and the opportunity for Work Experience and progression to further education provision.
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC)
PLC courses are intensive full-time, one year programmes which prepare students for entry level employment or progression for further/higher education. PLCs are ideal progression routes from Leaving Certificate for those who want an extra year to study a specific vocational area and for adults returning to education. A PLC Participant Contribution Fee of €200 applies (exemptions available). Registration/materials and any other additional costs are payable by all. Students will normally have Leaving Certficate, Leaving Certificate Applies or a QQI Level 4 Major Award. Equal consideration will be given to mature applicants who do not meet these entry requirements.
Traineeships are occupational specific and industry endorsed training programmes leading to QQI Major Awards at Levels 5 and 6 and/or industry recognised certification providing access to specific occupations in designated sectors. These programmes are targeted at occupations which are not designated as apprenticeships but entail significant skill requirements which are best acquired through a combination of alternating periods of on and off-the-job training. Traineeships are aimed at new labour market entrants and unemployed persons. A key characteristic of the Traineeship Programme is the role employers play in the training process. Aptitude tests and interviews are used in certain cases to select participants.
Local Training Initiatives (LTI)
The Local Training Initiatives are project-based training and work experience programmes carried out in the local community and run by local community groups throughout Longford and Westmeath. It is designed for people who are unemployed, and who are experiencing difficulty in gaining entry to the labour market. Local Training Initiatives support many organisations. Courses are QQI accredited, full-time and delivered all year round. Local Training Initiatives are 30 week courses with a specific focus.
Specific Skills Training (SST)
Day courses are designed to provide learners with a range of employability related skills and formal vocational qualifications to facilitate those entering the labour market for the first time and persons wishing to update or acquire new skills and progress to access market-led specific skills courses. Courses lead to QQI Awards at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 and/ord to industry recognised accreditation. The duration of training can vary. Short modular courses are typically 6 weeks and longer courses can be up to 40 weeks duration. The majority of day courses are delivered on a full-time basis throughout the year in outreach locations. Courses are supplemented by contracted providers allowing LWETB the flexibility to meet changing industry demands.
Specialist Training Providers (STP)
STP Programmes in Longford and Westmeath are delivered to people with disabilities who may require more intensive support. The features of this specialist vocational training include; longer duration, adapted equipment, transport arrangements, enhanced programme content. Examples include ICT and vocational multi-skills. Courses are delivered all year round and lead to QQI accreditation.
Community Training Centres (CTC)
Community Training Centres are an independent community based organisation, catering for the training and employment needs of early school leavers, primarily aged between 16 and 21. Examples of programmes offered include employability skills, personal and social employment skills and science skills. Courses are generally one year in duration, are full-time and lead to major QQI Awards at levels 3 and 4.
Apprenticeship is a demand driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. Anyone wishing to become and apprentice must first obtain employment with an approved employer and meet the entry requirements of the apprenticeship. On successful completion of an apprenticeship, QQI certification is awarded. Find out more
For all enquiries relating to Further Education and Training: