WorldSkills Ireland event to be staged alongside Higher Options this year

Largest ever concentration of career and study information for school leavers

Students Radia O’Gorman and Katie Power - sixth years at St Michael's, Finglas, at last year's WorldSkills Ireland event. Photograph: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography

Thousands of second level students will have the opportunity to explore a wide array of career and study options later this year when Worldskills Ireland runs side-by-side with The Irish Times Higher Options event in Dublin’s RDS.

The co-location of the two events, from September 25th-27th, 2024, will be Ireland’s largest coming together of second level students across the country.

Worldskills Ireland, which takes place at RDS Simmonscourt, will showcase skills-based career paths, ranging from construction and mechanics to newer areas such as financial services, green skills and retrofitting.

The Irish Times Higher Options, which will take place at the main RDS venue, gives students a chance to meet representatives of universities and further education colleges and help choose their study options after the Leaving Cert.


Minister for Further and Higher Education Patrick O’Donovan said Worldskills Ireland will celebrate the best of Irish skills, with competitors from up to 30 disciplines showcasing their talent.

“I hear consistent messages from employers in areas of skills demand, so it’s great to see events like Worldskills returning, benefiting both students and employers from across Ireland.,” he said.

Attendees at the WorldSkills Ireland event in 2023.

Ray English, chair of WorldSkills Ireland, said about 30,000 students and visitors will get the chance to see the full range of career and educational opportunities at what is Ireland’s largest skills show.

“Employers will get the chance to attract career seekers to their sectors across ICT, social and personal services, manufacturing and construction, transport and logistics, whilst all education and training providers are showcasing the many and varied routes through education to a lifelong career,” he said.

The event also seeks to change some negative perceptions around apprenticeships and skills-based careers by educating students, teachers, guidance counsellors and parents about the variety of opportunities available to young people in Ireland.

Those who register for the WorldSkills event ill get the chance to test careers with employer-based “try a skill” interactive tasks, experience career and education spotlight talks, engage with employers in recruitment and see regional opportunities available from education and training boards, universities and apprenticeship consortium employers.

It also plans to showcase for students the use of AI and virtual reality education as well as the latest sustainable and green technologies with industry showcases.

At the Higher Options event, meanwhile, about 30,000 students from across Ireland will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from third-level institutions from Ireland, the UK, Europe and further afield.

In addition, students will get to attend career talks on a wide range of career areas as well as guidance sessions on applying to the CAO, grants and university access schemes.

The event is divided into zones such as higher education; further education and training; an all-Irish section known as cheathrú ghaeltachta; EU and international zone; and UK universities.

Simon Harris, as minister for further and higher education, at last year's Higher Options event. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent