Looking for FAS courses? SOLAS is Ireland’s new FET Authority

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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For many, many years FÁS was the go-to organisation for anyone considering FAS courses, further education and training. However, in October 2013 SOLAS and the new Education & Training Boards replaced FÁS and FAS courses.

SOLAS – An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna – is Ireland’s new Further Education and Training Authority. Their aim is to provide build a clear, integrated pathway to work for learners seeking to enrol in FAS courses through Further Education and Training. Prospective students can search for for Fas courses and Solas courses through the Further Education & Training Course Hub, aka FETCH. There are a number of different kinds of courses on offer. Here’s a brief description of your options.

Full Time Courses

FETCH offers a huge variety of courses, both full-time and part-time. Full time courses include:

Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses.

PLC courses last for one to two years. They offer a mix of practical and academic training as well as work experience. Courses cover wide range of subjects, such as business studies, childcare, community care, computing and technology, e-commerce, horticulture, multimedia production, sport and leisure and tourism.

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)

VTOS provides a range of courses to help unemployed people re-enter the workforce. The courses are full-time and normally take two academic years on a full-time basis. The courses include ICT, art and design, business administration, childcare and digital media.


Youthreach is a full-time programme, usually over two years, for young people, aged 15 to 20, who left school early and are not are not working.

Bridging/Foundation Courses

Bridging and Foundation courses help prepare learners to be ready for labour market-led courses as well as entry-level employment. These courses can be short or long duration.

Specific Skills Training (SST)

SST courses typically take over six months full-time to complete. These meet the needs of industry across a range of sectors. Examples of courses include: computer applications and office skills; retail skills; business administration; business process improvement; payroll and bookkeeping; as well as health and beauty and life sciences.


Traineeships typically take from 4-9 months full-time to complete. They provide occupation-specific training and integrate formal classroom training with workplace coaching. Courses include beauty therapy, outdoor activity instructor, business systems service technician and software developer.

Community Training Centres (CTCS)

CTCs are independent community-based organisations which provide training and education for early school leavers, aged between 16 and 21. Courses offered include employability skills, personal and social employment skills as well as science skills.

Specialist Training Providers (STPS)

STPs deliver a range of flexible training programmes for people with disabilities. Courses are generally one to two years in duration. Course examples include ICT and vocational multi-skills.

The Local Training Initiative Programme (LTI)

The LTI is a project-based training and work experience programme carried out in the local community run by local community groups. The programme is for unemployed people, generally aged between 18 and 35 years, who are having difficulty finding a job.

Part-time courses

Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)

BTEI provides part-time further education programmes for young people and adults. A number of agencies throughout the country offer these programmes on a flexible part-time basis.

Adult Literacy (AL)

Adult Literacy programmes are for employed and unemployed people who want to improve their reading, writing and numeracy as well as information technology skills.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ESOL classes help people to learn or improve their English. In addition, ESOL also assists people who did not receive formal education in their country of origin and who lack the basic literacy skills.

Skills for Work

Skills for Work is a national programme to help employees learn the basic skills needed in the workplace. All courses include literacy and numeracy, as well as subjects such as communications, computing, interpersonal skills, problem-solving and report-writing.

Evening Courses

Part-time evening courses (formerly FAS courses) of typically 30 hours duration over 10 weeks provide short upskilling modules for both unemployed and employed persons.

Blended Learning Courses

Blended learning courses can last up to 6 months. These use a mix of classroom, lab, practical and online training as well as tutor supported learning.

Community Education

Community Education works with adults who wish to return to or continue their education. These courses focus on people who have not been in employment or education for a long-time. Community Education offers a diversity of courses including courses leading to accreditation, informal and non-formal courses, short introductory courses, full time year-long programmes and courses in everything from life skills to professional qualifications.

Remember, SOLAS and the new Education & Training Boards replaced FÁS and FAS courses. For more information about courses, search Nightcourses.com’s Course Finder.

Anne Sexton

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  1. carol keating 9th December 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Hi my name is Carol Keating I just wanted to know if there are any night class for adult literacy in Carlow and if so what time any information you can give me would be greatly appreciate thanks

    1. Anne Sexton 12th December 2016 at 8:56 am

      Hi Carol

      You can find all the courses for Carlow by following this link: https://courses365couk.flywheelsites.com/course-location/carlow/

  2. Michael 10th January 2017 at 1:22 am

    I just wanted to know where accounting technicians course is being offered by fas

  3. Annmarie Carroll 22nd May 2017 at 9:49 am

    I’m interested in finding a part-time course in arts and crafts or mixed media in the westmeath are area

    1. Anne Sexton 22nd May 2017 at 10:10 am

      Hi Annmarie, you’ll find all the arts and crafts courses here: https://courses365couk.flywheelsites.com/course-category/further-learning/arts-crafts-hobbies/

  4. David Byrne 15th August 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Looking for corse to get back working in the Garage. I’ve over 5 years experience in working in garage likes of kwick fit, fast fit.

    1. Anne Sexton 17th August 2017 at 9:53 am

      Hi David, we have a number of car maintenance courses, but I am not sure these are what you are looking for. Have a look here: https://courses365couk.flywheelsites.com/course-category/further-learning/home-garden/car-maintenance/

  5. Cathal 5th September 2017 at 8:39 pm


    Im looking to get a car mechanics course done in co louth if possible. I would need it to be weekends or evenings if possible. Is there a course available? Kind regards, Cathal.

    1. Anne Sexton 6th September 2017 at 9:20 am

      Hi Cathal, there is a course in Dundalk. You can use the form here to contact the college to find out details about dates and times. https://courses365couk.flywheelsites.com/course/vehicle-diagnostics-for-car-mechanics-135895/

  6. Karolina 20th September 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hi! Can you help me find courses online, cat IT , please

    1. Cormac O' Meara 25th September 2017 at 8:55 am

      Hi Karolina,

      Here are all the IT courses listed on our website, Nightcourses.com https://courses365couk.flywheelsites.com/course-category/further-learning/computers-it-information-technology/

      Best of luck!

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