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SOLAS' functions are to manage, co-ordinate and support the delivery of this integrated Further Education and Training by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs); to monitor delivery and provide funding based on reliable, good quality data and positive outcomes; and to promote Further Education and Training provision that is relevant to individual learner needs and national skills needs. This includes the needs of business and future skills requirements.​​​​​​

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Ireland has ​a rich and diverse range of Further Education and Training provision. SOLAS' challenge is to ensure that each and every learning opportunity provided includes the needs of individuals to gain new skills or to advance their personal development, the needs of enterprises to have access to the type of skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses and the needs of civil society to provide parity of esteem and equity of opportunity to all its citizens.

We also aim to ensure that Further Education and Training is inclusive and recognises that all citizens have the potential to develop their skill sets if afforded the opportunity and support to do so. SOLAS is working to be a trusted guardian of Further Education and Training, we are developing our knowledge base and will use this to advance the Further Education and Training contribution to citizens, the economy and society.

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We plan

In July 2011, the Government approved a re-structuring of the Further Education and Training (FET) sector. Reform relating to FET involved structural-level change, as well as changes affecting planning, prioritising, funding and the provision of FET programmes and services which are based on an identified need for a more coherent and effective system of provision. SOLAS works with each of its stakeholders and partners to deliver this reformed FET provision on an annual basis.​​

​​New Strategic ​Framework

The Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy 2014-2019

Published in May​ 2014, the first ever strategy for the FET sector sets out a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the FET sector.

The SOLAS Corporate Plan 2017-2019 outlines range of key targets and objectives and details SOLAS' approach to progressing its commitments set out in the FET Strategy.

The Annual Further Education and Training Services Plan

Each year SOLAS works with its partners in the Further Education and Training sector particularly with the Education and Training Boards to develop an integrated annual services plan which sets out detail around the type, mix and volume of programmes and services to be delivered by the FET sector each year as well as the associated funding and estimated outcomes relating to programmes and services.​​​​​

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We co-ordinate delivery

SOLAS recognises that to be successful as an organisation, our part​ners in​ the Education and Training Boards and our other partners must be successful too. We share common goals and must work in a collaborative manner to deliver a reformed Further Education and Training sector.

Each year a joint annual business planning exercise with SOLAS, Education and Training Boards and other Further Education and Training Providers leads to the publication of the annual Further Education and Training Services Plan

SOLAS, funded through the Department of Education and Skills, provides grants to Education and Training Boards and other Further Education and Training providers for the delivery of these planned places for Further Education and Training.​​​​

SOLAS manages a pre-qualification tendering process for contracted training. The following list of pre-qualified providers can be utilised by Education and Training Boards when procuring contracted training.


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We research

The SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU​) provides research, data and analysis for SOLAS and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). SOLAS publishes research and reports that facilitates development and review of policy and practice in the further and higher education sectors as well as other related sectors.

We also manage the National Skills Database and provide labour market data and analyses to the Education and Training Board (ETB) sector (e.g., in support of the joint SOLAS/ETB annual business planning exercise).​​

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We manage

SOLAS holds statutory responsibility for the management of the National Apprenticeship System in Ireland. Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople. It is a demand-driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme for employed people aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. The Curriculum for each apprenticeship programme is based on uniform, pre-specified standards which are agreed and determined by industry.

Learn more about Apprenticeship


SOLAS delivers online learning through eCollege which offers a range of high quality interactive online learning courses, available any time through broadband internet access, for those who wish to learn at their own pace. On-Line learning courses typically take from 14-24 weeks to complete and caters for individuals who are IT literate and who wish to work at their own pace and in their own time. Courses are offered with and without e-tutor support. Learners can register for on-line courses through Courses include; CompTIA Network+, Mobile Technology, Java Professional Developer and Microsoft.

Learn more about eCollege


The SOLAS Safe Pass Health and Safety Awareness Training Programme is to ensure that, over the course of time, all workers in construction will have a basic knowledge of health and safety, and be able to work on-site without being a risk to themselves or others who might be affected by their acts or omissions. From a health and safety perspective, construction workers are bound by law to hold a valid Safe Pass card.

Learn more about Safe Pass


The Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) and the Quarrying Skills Certification Scheme (QSCS) provides for the training, assessment, certification and registration of non-craft operatives within the construction and quarrying sectors. Courses are up to one week in duration and are delivered all year round.

Learn more about CSCS

Learn more about QSCS

Please note: The CSCS and QSCS web pages are currently being updated and will be available from Tuesday 2nd May 2017. 


SOLAS co-ordinates the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) programmes on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. The European Globalisation​ Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established in December 2006 to support certain redundant workers made redundant as a result of major changes in global trade patterns to assist them back into employment as soon as possible. The scope of the EGF covers education and training programmes, career advice and guidance, and enterprise supports. EGF programme supports may only be provided within a 24 month period starting from the date of submission of an EGF application ​​​​​

Learn more about EGF​​​   


SOLAS is the designated Intermediate Body for the European Social Fund Programme for Employment, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014 - 2020.

Eligible further education and training programmes are co-funded by the Irish Government, the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

Co-funded programmes include ETB Training for the Unemployed, Adult Literacy, Back to Education Initiative, Community Training Centres and Youthreach.

Learn more about ESF



Where required, member states are obliged to issue a European Community Certificate of Experience to workers, as evidence of their experience, training and qualifications. The Guidance Notes.pdf explain the details about the Certificate of Experience to applicants from the Republic of Ireland. These notes cover information such as the application process and the practical use of the Certificate. The brief guide to the Jobs Covered.pdf by the Certificate of Experience will also help to inform decisions about working in Europe. Please complete and submit the application form with the necessary supporting documents to the address provided.
For further information about Certificates of Experience please contact:
Legal Services Department - + 353 1 533 2394