Overall, today’s report confirms the positive role of the PLC programme as a provider of high quality standalone qualifications and as a bridge to continuing education.
The report illustrates that graduates are 27% more likely to progress to Higher Education compared to similar peers who entered the labour market directly on completion of their Leaving Certificate. In addition, the report illustrates that graduates are 16% more likely to be in employment than if they had entered the workforce after the Leaving Certificate.
PLC course access for young people from disadvantaged regions, who have the highest risk of unemployment, clearly needs to be enhanced as a matter of urgency.
In addition, supports to help tackle the additional challenges faced by PLC students with greater caring responsibilities should be investigated.
It is deeply disappointing that the report does not a recommend removal of the €200 charge for PLC courses that continues to act as an impediment to participation for many students.
TUI will respond to the report in greater detail in due course.