Each year, further education and training (FET) is a very positive experience for many thousands of individuals across the country. It encompasses both a field of education and training and a distinct sector within that field. It has many and diverse purposes. Its very diversity and that of its learners is one of its key strengths.
There is a myriad of reasons why individuals choose to engage in FET. Some have aspirations to get a job, others to go to third-level education, still others to improve their reading and writing skills. Many see the personal and social benefits of reengaging in learning after a long absence. The FET sector has set out its vision for the future in the Further Education and Training Strategy 2014–2019.
If we are to succeed in this vision and keep FET accessible, effective and relevant to meet the aspirations of learners, then it needs to continuously adapt and improve. The FET sector and the high quality of its provision should be synonymous irrespective of where, when and how it is undertaken. It should also be backed up by evidence.