Further Education

ETB Colleges of Further Education 

Down Syndrome Ireland works in collaboration with ETBs to develop Further Education Programmes to empower school leavers and adults with Down syndrome to achieve their full potential. They aim to develop a broad range of skills – social, life, literacy and numeracy. Developing independence and enhancing employability are integral to our programmes.

Up until 2021, Adult Education courses for adults with Down syndrome were primarily run in Down Syndrome Ireland branches or online. Now, the majority of programmes are run in ETBs (Education Training Boards), however some branches continue to run courses. Adults attending ETB-run courses do not have to pay or fundraise for these courses.

Programmes are currently developed in the areas of literacy, technology, horticulture, personal development, sustainability, culinary arts and advocacy. 

Other Further Education programmes are run in Colleges of Further Education and Training throughout the country. Contact your local ETB for more details or visit the Further Education & Training Course Hub website or read more on the ETBI’s Further Education and Training page.


For further information, you can also contact our Adult Education Department:  

Here is a map of ETB centres nationwide:


Funding from SOLAS enables us to work in partnership with SOLAS and ETBs (Education and Training Boards) to support increased participation of learners with Down syndrome in local Further Education provision. It enables us to increase awareness of Further Education opportunities and pathways among school leavers/adults. We now have the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise from our experience of developing and delivering structured Further Education courses for adults with Down syndrome. We also support SOLAS and the ETBI (Education and Training Boards Ireland) with disability awareness across the Further Education sector. Funding from SOLAS also enables us to increase links with adults with Down syndrome and their families to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs considered and addressed in the Further Education system.

Ultimately, it helps us empower people with Down syndrome to achieve their full potential. 

Down Syndrome Ireland In-person programmes include: 

Work Skills 

This 2-year programme prepares members for the world of work. 

Our Work Skills programme is a bespoke programme which is designed to help adults with Down syndrome close the gap between education and meaningful employment in the world of work. 

The course is compiled of interactive videos centred on employment and is based on a project developed by Accenture called the Skills to Succeed Academy. 

What areas/subjects does the programme cover?

The course is divided into three modules: 

  • You and Your Career looks at the individual and what their interests and motivations are. Students also learn about the different types of jobs and careers that are available. 

  • Getting a Job examines the practical process of applying for a job. Students will practise all aspects from job adverts, application forms, CVs and interviews.

  • Personal Development explores topic such as self-awareness, personal versus professional relationships, self-care and personal safety.

  • Success in Work prepares students for professional life. Students will practise roleplays and learn about timekeeping. 

Students are encouraged to take part in work experience in their local area during their course.


About the Programme

  • Are there any requirements for the programme?  This programme is a suitable follow-on for adults who have completed at least one other Adult Education programme.

  • Where is the programme taught?  The programme is usually taught in our branch network or in some ETB Further Education Colleges around the country.

  • When does the programme run? The programme usually begins in mid-September but may sometimes begin in January. It usually runs for 1 day per week for 2 years, or 2 days per week for 1 year.

  • Who can I contact for further information?  If you would like to find out about or start a Work Skills Programme in your area, you can contact: 

    John Condon, Head of Adult Education at johncondon@downsyndrome.ie or call 086 128 6025
    Sinéad Flynn, Adult Education Officer at sinead@downsyndrome.ie or call 086 103 5335 


Additional Courses for people with disabilities

National Learning Network 

The National Learning Network provides a range of flexible training programmes and support services for people who need specialist support in 50 centres around the country.

The National Learning Network offers a broad range of programmes for adults with intellectual disabilities.


Useful Websites for information on Further Education

Solas.ie | therightcourse.ie | thisisfet.ie | smartchoices.ie | rehab.ie