Apprenticeships and further education will form part of the CAO system for the first time under new reforms.

The plans will allow students completing applications next year to choose apprenticeships as well as Level 4 and 5 courses.

The Sunday Independent reports the aim is to increase choice, relieve pressure on the system and ease demand for college places.

The changes are set to be trialled in parts of the country later this year before being rolled out nationally in 2022.

A paper by the Department of Education is expected to be published on the issue soon.