Skip to main content
Early School LeavingEducationSchool

Options after leaving school early

By September 28, 2021February 22nd, 2024No Comments

Leaving School Early

School can be difficult for many reasons – if you have made the decision to leave, that does not mean your education will stop. There are many options for you and supports ready to help you explore your next move after leaving school early.

If you have any questions about your options after leaving school early, you can chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer or leave us a message and we can get back to you.

Local supports available

Youth Advocate 

provides mentoring, career guidance and information to young people aged 16-21 years. It is mainly for young people who have left school early and are attending Youthreach/Training Centres but referrals from those looking for training options or those who are out of school can also be made. Contact details.

Crosscare Youth Information Service

Provides a free and confidential information service for all young people on a wide range of topics including courses, including leaving school early, PLC courses, progression routes, apprenticeships and further training, grants available and finding a job. Contact details

DDLETB Adult Guidance Services – 18+ years

Offers advice, guidance, and information on education, training and careers to adult learners taking part in their adult education programmes and those who are unemployed. Contact details

Programmes for people that have left school early

Alternative Learning Programme Dun Laoghaire (ALP) – Under 16 years

ALP runs 3 days per week during school term and is designed to be as easy as possible for you to attend. The programme is given by local Youth Workers and DDLETB Tutors and offers a variety of activities and lessons. You will get to explore returning to school, educational progression, training and future career options and to develop the skills to help you in the future.

Referrals to ALP can be made by any service, youth worker or parent/guardian – it just needed to be supported and signed by the Educational Welfare Officer (01-5252166).

Dun Laoghaire Community Training Centre Gateway Programme – 15+ years, without Junior Cert

The Gateway programme is suited to learners who do not have a Junior Certificate qualification. It is a part-time programme suitable for learners who have been out of education for some time and may need a slow return to learning. More information

Youthreach Training Programme – 15/16 – 20 years

Youthreach is a one / two year programme for unemployed early school leavers aged 15-20 years. Priority is given to those aged 16+ and centres will accept limited applications from 15 year olds on a case-by-case basis.


Training is free. A travel and lunch allowance is paid if you live more than 5km away from the centre. Training allowance is paid if aged 16+. The opportunity to gain a National Qualification e.g. QQI (FETAC) level 3 + 4 major awards (

Local Centres:

Dun Laoghaire Community Training Centre

QQI levels 3 & 4. The core areas include: Industrial Skills, Catering, IT Skills, Hair Care & Beauty Therapy, Pre-Apprenticeship (Science and Engineering) Programme, Childcare and a Work Experience Programme. 41A York Rd, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Ph: 01 284 1194

Sallynoggin Youthreach (Sportsreach)

QQI level 4 Modules include: Communications, Maths, IT, Soccer, Health Related Fitness, Art, Personal Effectiveness, Work Experience. Also Sports & Recreation and Life Skills Programmes. St Joseph’s Football Club, Pearse Park, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin. Ph: 01 2013878

Rathfarnham Youthreach

QQI levels 3 & 4 Modules include: Communications, Maths, Computer Literacy, Art, Personal & Interpersonal Skills, Health & Fitness, Catering and Work Experience. Mountainview Hse, Meadow Park Ave, Rathfarnham. D.14. Ph: (01) 296 3413;

Tivoli Training Centre

The centre is funded through the Probation Service and accepts referrals for young people who are on probation or ‘at risk’ of offending. Self and other referrals are also accepted. QQI levels 3 & 4 with a number of additional programmes and activities on offer. 24 Tivoli Terrace South, Dun Laoghaire. Ph: 01 284 1028; Tivoli Training Centre

Back to Education Initiative (Btei)16+ years

This offers part-time accredited courses to young people and adults. Generally those over 16 years with less than Leaving Cert are eligible to take part on a BTEI. The Adult Education Service in Dun Laoghaire provides part-time BTEI courses for those aged 18+ at QQI levels 3,4 and 5. Priority is given to those on Social Welfare. Local Contacts

National Learning Network – 16+ Years

This programme offers training and education to young people aged1 6+ with extra support needs and helps them to learn the skills they needt o get a job or progress to further education. Aimed mainly at people witha disability, anyone facing obstacles in the search for work should enquire about the courses available. They offer QQI levels 3, 4 and 5.

Bray NLN Centre: Beechwood Close, Boghall Road, Bray, Wicklow; Tel: 01 2829643; email:

Roslyn NLN Centre: Roslyn Park College, Beach Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4; Te1 2613400; email:

TASK programme (Training Awareness Skills and Knowledge) – 16+ years

This QQI level 4 Employment Skills Programme is open to unemployed young Travellers and settled people aged 16+ living in Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown. No formal qualifications are needed and modules including Maths, IT, Career Planning and Customer Service. A training allowance is paid. St. Kierans Enterprise Centre, Furze Rd., Sandyford. Tel: 087 3732836.  Further details

Festina Lente (Equestrian Training Programme)16+ years

This SOLAS funded programme provides learners with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress to working in the equestrian industry or onto further studies through working with and caring for horses. It is aimed at those aged 16+ and on a disability allowance, but if you have a learning disability or are an early school leaver who received resource/SNA supports in school, you may still be able to take part. On completion of the course you will receive a QQI level 4 Major Award in Horsemanship. Old Connaught Avenue, Bray. Tel: 087 963 3348/ Ph: 01 272 0704.  Further details

 Post Leaving Certificate – 16+ years

Post leaving cert courses are a mixture of academic, practical and work experience. The courses are full-time and last for one to two years and you receive a QQI level 5 or 6. Although, they prefer that you have done your Leaving Cert – if there is a course that you would like to do – contact the college and see if they are willing to take you on without the Leaving Cert. We can help you with this. Post Leaving Cert Colleges in Dublin

Further Education without the Leaving Certificate

With so much attention on the Leaving Certificate, you may be forgiven if you have overlooked the fact that there is a wealth of careers and courses that can be accessed without your Leaving Certificate. Other Options for Further Education

Leave a Reply

Skip to content