The number of apprenticeships is set to increase by 50%, as a result of increased investment in higher and further education.
The new-look CAO website, which was relaunched in the last hour, contains 650 post-leaving cert courses and a free guidance counsellor helpline for upcoming students.
For the first time, would-be students can now find out about apprenticeships, PLCs, and higher education on one website.
650 PLCs and a free guidance counsellor helpline are among features on the CAO website, which will go live at 12 no today.
Minister Harris expects the number of people taking apprenticeships to increase by 50% as a result of this increased investment pic.twitter.com/nIJDafzfjl
— Mairéad Cleary (@maireadcleary7) November 5, 2021
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris expects it to lead to a boom in apprenticeships, with places available increasing from 6 to 9,000.
"About to press-go on a roof cladding apprenticeship and a scaffolding apprenticeship, next year you'll see a quantity surveying apprenticeship.
"Sometimes we have a very narrow view of what apprenticeships are - but you can actually do a masters through apprenticeships."
Paddy Lavelle from the ETBI says making non-traditional options accessible helps break the stigma around apprenticeships and PLCs:
"It's validation. It's making sure people understand there are very valid ways to make their way through to a career or a skill base."
President of the Irish Second-Level Students Union Emer Neville wants to see training for guidance counsellors to keep up with CAO changes.
"If the guidance counsellors aren't getting their support well then the students and their parents are getting that support."
Students have until February 1st to register for the CAO.