Students like Anne Marie can ‘craft’ an exciting new career

Leaving Cert students in Tipperary have a wide range of courses and career options to choose from in the craft and design sector, according to the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI).

Leaving Cert students in Tipperary have a wide range of courses and career options to choose from in the craft and design sector, according to the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI).

Head of Education, Training & Development at CCoI, John Tynan, is reminding young in Tipperary people they can ‘craft’ their future by opting to master skills with a variety of materials including clay, glass, metal, textiles, and wood. Among the recent graduates of the CCoI’s prestigious, two year long jewellery and goldsmithing course is the talented Anne Marie Killeen, a native of Tipperary town.

With increased focus on the potential of the creative and cultural industries to enhance job creation and innovation, Mr Tynan said it is important that Leaving Cert students are aware of craft and design related options outside of the CAO points race.

According to a recent EU study, “micro and craft-type enterprises make up not only the vast majority of SMEs in Europe, but are also the main source of job creation in the European Union, being active in many traditional professions that are essential for the prosperity and wellbeing of both urban and rural areas.”[1]

In Ireland the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) employ over 70,000 according to a 2010 EU report,[2] while across Europe micro-enterprises account for 53% of all jobs.

“The 60,000 plus learners who get their Leaving Certificate results on August 17 are facing a significant increase in points for virtually all college courses with a tighter jobs market driving up competition for places.

“However there is an opportunity to undertake skills-based training and to carve out a unique career designing and crafting products for the global marketplace”, highlighted Mr Tynan. “A future in a craft enterprise allows creative design talents and business skills to come together in an exciting and varied way.”

Metal – to become a jeweller, silversmith, goldsmith, blacksmith or farrier with 3rd level courses and apprenticeships of three to four years on offer

Wood – to do woodturning, furniture design and furniture making, or basket making with apprenticeships of three to four years

Clay - to train as a ceramicist, potter, ceramic artist or designer with 3rd level courses of three to four years

Glass – to work as a glassmaker or glass artist with courses ranging from one year up to four years for specialist degree programmes

Textiles – to become a textile artist/designer or a fashion designer with 3rd level courses or apprenticeships of three to four years.

The third level institutions providing craft related courses at National Qualification Framework (NFQ) Levels 6 to 8 include:

·Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT) Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork.

·Galway & Mayo Institute of Technology, (GMIT) Galway & Letterfrack.

· Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) Limerick School of Art & Design.

·The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin.

· The University of Ulster.

This year Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT) Crawford College of Art & Design has introduced a new honours Applied Art course offering students the opportunity to creatively develop and make objects.

Other key providers of craft education outside of higher education institutions include:

VECs - providing a range of craft and arts-related courses across Ireland. Craft-related Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses are also provided in vocational schools and colleges including Grennan Mill in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny (which provides foundation courses in a number of craft disciplines), and Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and St Johns Central College in Cork

SOLAS (formerly FÁS) - provides trainee and apprenticeship programmes in a number of areas such as carpentry and joinery, farriery, jewellery-making and thatching.

Crafts Council of Ireland – offers high-quality, intensive two-year courses. A Jewellery & Goldsmithing Course and a Ceramics Skills & Design course. These programmes have a 90% plus employment rate.