Today, 27 people will graduate from a new collaboration between City of Dublin ETB and Trinity College on a Level 9 Postgraduate Certificate course in Diversity and Inclusion specifically for staff working in the Further Education and Training sector in Ireland. This partnership was part of the vision of City of Dublin ETB’s Director of Further Education, Blake Hodkinson, who recognised that for FET staff to be able to fully realise the potential of the Future FET Strategy (2020-2024), they would need space and structured opportunities to build on their existing skill sets and knowledge.

The strategic pillars underpinning the strategy are building skills, fostering inclusion and facilitating pathways. The course was designed by Dr Joanne Banks and Professor Michael Shevlin from the School of Education, Trinity College in collaboration with Dr Anne Costelloe and Carrie Archer from City of Dublin ETB. The aim was to build capacity in staff across the entire organisation, and FET sector, to be more inclusive and responsive to the increasing diversity of FET learners and staff. Lecturers on the programme come from both City of Dublin ETB and from the School of Education. This combination brings together a balance of theory and practice from across both sectors that fully embraces learner diversity.

Key elements of the City of Dublin ETB’s Statement of Strategy (2021-2015) include staff development, teaching, learning and assessment in addition to learner supports. This course supports and underpins this strategy and provides employees with opportunities to engage with colleagues from across the various areas of provision.

Students graduating today come from all areas of provision in City of Dublin ETB: the Adult Education Service, Youthreach, FET Colleges, leadership teams, Quality Assurance and FET support services, Training Centres, Guidance and the Education Service to Prisons are represented.

A further 28 students are currently studying on the course and another cohort will begin in September 2023. The course will be made available to FET staff from other Education and Training Boards nationally in the future.