There is a wide range of courses and career options to choose from in the craft and design sector, according to the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI).
• Metal – to become a jeweller, silversmith, goldsmith, blacksmith or farrier with 3rd level courses and apprenticeships of three to four years on offer
• Wood – to do woodturning, furniture design and furniture making, or basket making with apprenticeships of three to four years
• Clay – to train as a ceramicist, potter, ceramic artist or designer with 3rd level courses of three to four years
• Glass – to work as a glassmaker or glass artist with courses ranging from one year up to four years for specialist degree programmes
• Textiles – to become a textile artist/designer or a fashion designer with 3rd level courses or apprenticeships of three to four years.
The third level institutions providing craft related courses at National Qualification Framework (NFQ) Levels 6 to 8 include:
· Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT) Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork
· Galway & Mayo Institute of Technology, (GMIT) Galway & Letterfrack
· Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) Limerick School of Art & Design
· The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin
· The University of Ulster
This year Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT) Crawford College of Art & Design has introduced a new honours Applied Art course offering students the opportunity to creatively develop and make objects.
Other key providers of craft education outside of higher education institutions include:
VECs – providing a range of craft and arts-related courses across Ireland. Craft-related Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses are also provided in vocational schools and colleges including Grennan Mill in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny (which provides foundation courses in a number of craft disciplines), and Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and St Johns Central College in Cork
SOLAS (formerly FÁS) – provides trainee and apprenticeship programmes in a number of areas such as carpentry and joinery, farriery, jewellery-making and thatching.
Crafts Council of Ireland – offers high-quality, intensive two-year courses.
A Jewellery & Goldsmithing Course and a Ceramics Skills & Design course. These programmes have a 90% plus employment rate.
Head of Education, Training & Development at CCoI, John Tynan, is reminding young people they can ‘craft’ their future by opting to master skills with a variety of materials including clay, glass, metal, textiles, and wood. With increased focus on the potential of the creative and cultural industries to enhance job creation and innovation, Mr Tynan said it is important that Leaving Cert students are aware of craft and design related options outside of the CAO points race.
According to a recent EU study, “micro and craft-type enterprises make up not only the vast majority of SMEs in Europe, but are also the main source of job creation in the European Union, being active in many traditional professions that are essential for the prosperity and wellbeing of both urban and rural areas.”
In Ireland the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) employ over 70,000 according to a 2010 EU report, while across Europe micro-enterprises account for 53% of all jobs. Wishing students the best of luck with their results today Mr Tynan said: “The 60,000 plus learners who will get their Leaving Certificate results on August 17th are facing a significant increase in points for virtually all college courses with a tighter jobs market driving up competition for places.
“However there is an opportunity to undertake skills-based training and to carve out a unique career designing and crafting products for the global marketplace”, highlighted Mr Tynan. “A future in a craft enterprise allows creative design talents and business skills to come together in an exciting and varied way.”
Louise Allen, Education and Innovation Manager with CCoI, said undertaking training in a craft related discipline is a rich and rewarding training choice that can lead to a fulfilling and sustainable career in craft as part of the cultural and creative industries.
“Now more than ever creativity, innovation and design are essential skills that enhance the potential for job creation and employment”, she added.
A list of craft-related education provision is included in the Crafts Council of Ireland report “Creative Pathways – A Review of Craft & Education Training in Ireland” available on the CCoI website at www.ccoi.ie
Considering a Career in Craft? Download our guide to your craft career and where to study Fashion, Clay Jewellery, Metalworking and Wood-working.