40% of Travellers in further education have only completed primary level

New figures show that of Traveller enrolments in further education programmes last year, more than 40% said they had previously only completed primary level at most.

40% of Travellers in further education have only completed primary level

New figures show that of Traveller enrolments in further education programmes last year, more than 40% said they had previously only completed primary level at most.

The finding is among a number contained in reports published by SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, which also found that one-third of those from the Roma Community who signed up for further education programmes last year had primary education or lower.

Last year the total number of Traveller enrolments reported in further education and training was 1,212, of which 41.2% had primary education or lower, with the majority unemployed, 59% for a year or more.

According to the report:

"Of the 1,212 Traveller enrolments, 59 reported that they were part of a jobless household, whereas 203 reported that they were dependents in a jobless household. There were also 140 Travellers who reported they had a long-lasting condition."

It also showed that adult literacy courses and Youthreach programmes had the highest number of Traveller enrolments.

Also last year, there were 8,644 learners with at least one self-declared disability enrolled in the further education and training programmes. One-third were unemployed and just one-tenth were in employment.

Overall, more than 175,000 adults were enrolled in further education and training (FET) courses in 2018, of which 70% completed or partially completed their courses.

The majority of learners were in the under-25 age group, followed by learners aged 55 and over, while more women than men took on further education.

The launch of the report heard from Mary McDonagh, a Traveller who left school mid-way through secondary school and who has returned to education, who stressed the need for supports for those taking on further education.

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