Last month I published the ESRI report along with the SOLAS response on the evaluation of the PLC programme. The ESRI report provides a solid evidence base to inform future policy development for the programme. It will ensure that provision is planned to meets the needs of learners and employers, taking into account the changed context, particularly in the labour market, since the PLC programme was established in the mid 80s.
The evaluation confirms the positive role played by PLC courses in providing education for a diverse range of learners, highlighting that on average PLC learners are 16% more likely to be employed and 27% more likely to have progressed to higher education, than those who left education with the Leaving Certificate alone. It also points to a greater need to develop systems to ensure that PLC courses focused on the labour market are aligned with employer requirements and are responsive to changing labour market needs.
Arising from the evaluation, SOLAS will shortly establish the PLC Programme Improvement Advisory Committee, comprised of PLC partners, to oversee development and implementation of a three year programme improvement plan. Based on the recommendations set out in the SOLAS response, implementation of the plan will ensure delivery of high quality education and training supporting learners to achieve their progression and employment goals.