Getting Professional Advice

Understanding where to go for support or who to contact in relation to making informed career and employment decisions can be difficult.

Below is a list of recognised bodies that aim to support individuals to progress through the provision of guidance counselling, literacy supports, education, training and employment opportunities.

Guidance Professionals 

The National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE) is an agency of the Department of Education and Skills, with responsibility to support and develop guidance practice in all areas of education and to inform the policy of the Department in the field of guidance.

It is also responsible for the Adult Educational Guidance Initiative (AEGI). The Adult Education Guidance Initiative was established with the aim of providing a quality guidance service for adults. It consists of 40 guidance projects throughout the country which provide a guidance service to the returning adult about qualification levels, student funding, qualification recognition and the stepping stones of progression within courses and towards a career.

Adult Education Guidance Services in the Leinster region

Adult Education Guidance Services in the Munster region

Adult Education Guidance Services in the Connacht region

Adult Education Guidance Services in the Ulster region

To find your nearest guidance service click here.

The Institue of Guidance Cousellors (IGC) was established in 1968, and is the professional body representing over 1200 practitioners in second level schools, third level colleges, adult guidance services, private practice and in other settings.

If you are currently attending second level school your guidance counsellor in school is best equipped to provide all the supports necessary to make informed career and educational decisions.

The Institue also provide contact details of professional private practitioners click here.

Literacy Support

The National Adult Literacy Agency provide many literacy supports including distance learning and learning over the phone.

You can find out more information about these literacy supports at or

Education and Training

SOLAS (formerly FÁS), work in partnership with the new ETB’s (formerly VEC's) and are responsible for co-ordinating and funding many further education programmes.

To search these courses click here.

For contact details click here.

AONTAS is the Community Education Network in Ireland and has 140 community education provider members. AONTAS estimates that there are approximately 200,000 adults involved in formal and further education programmes. Community education centres promote life-long learning for adults and offer a wide range of courses suited to all levels to encourage learners and communities to become more empowered within society.

AONTAS has a website - which helps adults to get in touch with their local education and training services.  brings together all of the contact details for the further education services in the Education and Training Boards, along with useful resources and websites in a simple, easy to use format.  The site has been especially designed for use on a smartphone and tablet, but is also accessible on a PC.  For people who have difficulty using the website there is a Freephone Helpline 1800 303 669. 


Intreo is a new service from the Department of Social Protection which will provide a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Intreo offers practical, tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers and employers alike. 

Details of new locations will be published on and Intreo will be available in all offices by 2014.

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)

The INOU website contains a useful overview of what you need to know when you become unemployed. The INOU works at local and national levels on issues affecting unemployed people. They support local groups through services such as training, information and analysis of government policies.

In particular, their downloadable leaflet Know Your Welfare Rights and their booklet Working for Work is very comprehensive.

The INOU also list current job opportunities click here

To contact the INOU click here

Local Employment Services - Obair (LES)

The LES services were set up to help long-term unemployed people find work. They provide mediators who support with the job search and liaise with local employers.

The services provided by LESN are tailored to the needs of each individual client and the local environment within which they operate. Services provided include guidance, training, education and employment supports and are made available through a network of Contact Points.

The LES operates through a network of Offices and outreach centres located in 25 designated disadvantaged areas – 24 Partnership areas and one non-Partnership area (Kildare).

Job Clubs 

Job Clubs provide training to assist participants who are ready for work, to develop skills which they can use to find a job. Anyone who is ready to work and is between 16 and 64 years of age can join a Job Club. Participants do not have to be on a social welfare payment but if they are, it will not be affected by becoming a member of a Job Club.

The training topics range from health and safety to interview techniques and last up to 5 weeks (see Course Content and Duration).

Job Club participants retain their social welfare allowances during the training modules and receive €20 per week to help in dealing with additional costs.

Click on the link to view Job Club Locations throughout the country

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