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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

publicly provided school

publicly provided school education at secondary-level. Funds are allocated on aformula, based on a standard pupil-teacher ratio. There is also a per-pupil non-paygrant. Responsibility for the provision of funding of vocational schools, communitycolleges and further education centres is devolved from the Department of Educationand Skills, (DES), to thirty-three city and county based Vocational EducationCommittees, (VECs), (see Theme 3 Section: 3.2). The funding for programmes suchas Youthreach, to address the needs of early-school leavers, is distributed jointly bythe DES and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). In 2010the Budget for Youthreach was increased by EUR 6 million in order to provide for400 additional places on the Programme, bringing the total number of Youthreachparticipants to over 3 600. Total expenditure for Youthreach in 2010 amounted toEUR 65 million. With regard to funding mechanisms and links to quality assurance,the Department of Education and Skills carries out Value for Money Surveys onseveral of the programmes.Funding of IVET in non-tertiary further education and training centres andcollegesA major emphasis was placed in the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2000-06on broadening access to further non-tertiary and third level education, particularly forthose from disadvantaged backgrounds, and significant investment continues to beallocated to this area. There are nine different funding programmes in place, as well asgrant schemes and allowances to support students, including mature students, intofurther and higher education.School leavers attending full-time Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLC) andInstitutes of Technology (ITs) courses of at least one year’s duration in publiclyfunded colleges, do not pay fees. A means-tested maintenance grant is available forthose school leavers registered on PLC courses of not less than one year’s durationand for full-time students in ITs, taking courses at Certificate and Diploma levels.These grants are funded by the DES and administered by the local authorities. Thegrant levels are set annually and there are other supplementary means-tested grants forschool leavers from low-income and socially-disadvantaged groups e.g. the disabled,to attend PLC courses.Funding for apprenticeship training is sourced from the employer-levied, NationalTraining Fund (NTF), together with central Government funds. The NTF funds mostof the costs of apprenticeship training undertaken in FÁS, whereas the governmentfunds most of the costs of the apprentices training undertaken in the educationsystem, i.e. in the Institutes of Technology.Apprentices are employees of companies under an apprenticeship contract. During thephases of on-the-job training, employers contribute to their support through thepayment of an agreed ‘ industrial apprentice wage rate’, which is a percentage of thefull (adult) craft worker wage which may vary depending on the occupation andemployer. Generally, rates are based on the year of apprenticeship and increase duringthe apprenticeship. During off-the-job training, all apprentices are paid an allowanceby FÁS and, where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodationcosts. During the periods of off-the-job training and education, the state, through FÁS,pays an allowance to the apprentices, equivalent to their wages. There are also grants108

to encourage employers to recruit and register female apprentices. In 2010, due to theimpact of the economic recession on the construction industry, funding for theapprenticeship programme was reduced to EUR 68.4 million down from 93.9 millionin 2009 108 . The training costs for trainees attending Traineeships programmes,designed to enable the unemployed access the labour market, are paid by the State. In2010 expenditure by FÁS on this programme amounted to EUR 33.1 million up from28.5 million in 2009 109 . The trainees also receive training allowances paid by FÁS.Guidance services at secondary and third-level and in the adult education sector, areavailable free of charge. There are also a small number of private providers whocharge fees for professional advice, guidance and counselling in relation to careeroptions.Funding of IVET in third level and higher education institutionsThe third level and higher education sector is principally funded by the State. TheHigher Education Authority, which operates under the remit of the DES, is the mainfunding body for universities and for the designated higher education institutions,such as the 14 Institutes of Technology and the teacher training colleges. Since 1995no fees have been charged for under-graduate education in publicly funded thirdlevelinstitutions and a system of means -tested grants towards the cost of living forstudents is in existence. The total expenditure on Higher Education in 2007 was EUR1.9 billionThe national higher education system is strongly research and innovation oriented,aiming for mutually beneficial interaction with the enterprise sector. One of the waysof achieving this is through the Strategic Innovation Fund amounting to EUR 510million over the period of 2006-2013. This fund, administered by the HigherEducation Authority, is intended to be a major catalyst in bringing about substantialchange and quality improvement in higher education institutions and promotinginnovation and system-wide collaboration that draws on all the institutions collectivestrengths.Funding for IVET in specific industry and services sectorsCentral government provide funds for IVET for new entrants into specific industrysectors, through its funding of several public bodies such as Fáilte Ireland, whichprovides IVET for the tourism industry and Teagasc, the Agriculture and FoodDevelopment Authority, which provides IVET for the agriculture and horticultureindustries. In most cases funding by these agencies includes financial support forstudents through the payment of tuition and capitation fees but not student grants. TheInstitutes of Technology (ITs), who jointly provide initial vocational educationcourses for the tourism and agricultural sectors, receive their funding from the HigherEducation Authority via the DES, together with contributions from Fáilte Ireland andTeagasc. Two other state supported agencies, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (the Irish SeaFisheries Board) and Coillte (the Irish Forestry Board), fund training for new entrantsinto the fishing and aquaculture sectors and the forestry industry respectively.108FÁS Annual Report 2010.109 FÁS Annual Report 2010.109

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