The service comprises a freephone number (1800 303 669), an information booklet and the new website, onestepup.ie. This new website provides information on courses, funding supports and contact details for various services to support adult learners access and progress in education. There is now a host of new videos from learners sharing their experiences of returning to education conveying the array of routes available, and a calendar of education-related information events taking place across the country.
The launch of the new One Step Up website comes on the eve of Leaving Certificate results.
Congratulating the adult learners who completed the Leaving Certificate exams this summer, Tara Farrell, AONTAS Chairperson, said: “It is important to acknowledge that many adult learners are amongst the cohort of students who will be receiving their Leaving Certificate results tomorrow.
“In Ireland, 445,000 people aged 25 to 64 have never completed upper secondary-level education – the Leaving Cert can act as a vital stepping-stone for early school leavers to achieve their educational goals. We would like to congratulate all adult learners who will receive their Leaving Cert results tomorrow and wish them every success.”
Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS highlighted the alternatives to the Leaving Certificate and many options available to adults wishing to return to learning.
Ms O’Reilly said, “Most Irish people associate the Leaving Certificate with the only recognised formal school leaving examination; the reality is that adult learning offers a wide range of options for adults to achieve the equivalent of the Leaving Certificate standard – QQI Level 4/5. The European Commission’s Upskilling Pathways Recommendation encourages Member States to provide a range of ways to reach Leaving Certificate level, so there is a real commitment to helping adults to achieve the Leaving Certificate or the equivalent.
“In adult education it’s not a case of one size fits all and there are a wide range of courses available from basic education, skills training, access and higher education and personal development programmes depending on the individual needs of the learner.
“Each and every learner has a unique experience, and success means many things; from receiving a QQI award; to being able to help their children with homework; to upskilling for new employment opportunities.
“Returning to education has a positive impact on individuals, families, and communities across the country and I would encourage anyone curious about the options available to visit onestepup.ie and get started on their learning journey.”
One Step Up is part of the ‘Increasing Pathways, Increasing Participation’ project 2017-2019 and is funded with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and co-financed by the Department of Education and Skills through SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority. This project is managed by AONTAS who have been assigned the role of National Co-ordinator for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL).