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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

with the Institutes of

with the Institutes of Technology, for apprentices;• Fáilte Ireland which trains new entrants for the tourism, catering and hospitalityindustries, either directly, or in cooperation with Institutes of Technology;• Irish Fisheries Board which provides initial training for the fishing and marineindustries;• Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, which trains new entrantsinto the agricultural and horticultural sectors.The National Qualifications Authority (NQAI) set up two Awards Councils - the Further Educationand Training Awards Council (FETAC) and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council(HETAC) 30 in 2003, both of which provide accreditation and certification for all IVET courses inthe State, other than awards made in respect of primary and secondary level schooling and thirdlevel university education. Through the NQAI, FETAC, HETAC, and the Higher EducationAuthority for the tertiary sector, the Department of Education and Skills has establishedmechanisms for quality assurance in further and higher education.Over the past two decades a system of National Partnership Agreements has been in place,involving the government and the social partners and every three years these partners agree anational programme for social and economic development which have also included policiesrelating to VET. The current programme 'Towards 2016' runs from 2006-2016. The social partnersalso have a place in their representative capacity, within the structures established by the State, tomeet the country's general VET needs. They are represented on the Boards and/or AdvisoryCommittees of FÁS, Fáilte Ireland and Teagasc, and have a representative role on the awardingbodies FETAC and HETAC. They also have a consultative role in the allocation of funds fortraining schemes and programmes under the employer-levied National Training Fund.4.4 Legislative framework for CVETAs noted above, a considerable amount of the legislation regulating VET in Ireland applies to bothIVET and CVET (see Section 4.2 above). Up until 1997 limited resources were invested in adulteducation. In 1997 the government, in response to the findings from an OECD report that 25% ofIrish adults didn’t have basic literacy skills, decided to invest heavily in literacy provision and inadult education generally. Following this, in 1998, the Government published a Green Paper withproposals for developing Adult Education 31 . This was followed by the:• White Paper on Adult Education 2000 32 . The key goal of the White Paper was to set out acomprehensive policy for the future structure and development of adult learning and trainingin Ireland. Lifelong learning became the governing principle of educational policy. For thefirst time, the State extended its educational commitment to include the population whichhas left the initial education system.• Report of the Taskforce on Lifelong Learning 2002 33 which focused on the labour marketaspects of lifelong learning and concentrated on developing and implementing a NationalFramework of Qualifications; ensuring basic skills for all; providing comprehensive30Arrangements are currently being put in place to amalgamate these bodies into a single national entity for qualityassurance and accreditation of all further and higher education and training awards.31Adult Education in an Era of Lifelong Learning, Green Paper on Adult Education, Department of Education andScience. Dublin. The Stationer Office, 1988.32Learning for Life, White Paper on Adult Education, Department of Education and Science. Dublin. The StationeryOffice, 2002.33Report of the Taskforce on Lifelong Learning, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Dublin: StationeryOffice, 2002.38

guidance, counseling and information; addressing delivery, access and funding measuresand providing better opportunities for workplace learning, and learning for workers.• The National Skills Strategy 34 2007 highlighted that if Ireland was to be successful intackling the challenge of unemployment and see a return to sustainable export-led growth, itwas vital to concentrate on developing the skills base of the labour force. It concluded thatthere was a need to up-skill 500,000 employed people to the next level within the NationalFramework of Qualifications. It also called for adult literacy programmes to deliver basicskills training to employees in low skilled and paid employment.• The National Strategy for Higher Education, 2011 makes proposals for a nationalstrategy for higher education until 2030 and sets out recommendation for a new fundingmodel that aims to eliminate the disadvantages experienced by part-time adult learners.Together these documents provide a blueprint for the development of adult education in Ireland.4.5 Institutional framework for CVET and organigramAdult learning is the responsibility of the Further Education Section of the Department of Educationand Skills (DES). In early 2010 the DES was given responsibility for skills and training policy inaddition to its existing responsibility for further education which includes adult education and postsecondaryeducation for young people who have recently completed upper secondary education.Other government departments also fund a range of programmes. These include the Department ofSocial Protection; the Department of Justice and Law Reform; the Department of Community,Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and theDepartment of Tourism, Culture and Sport.The DES supervises and funds further vocational education colleges and adult education centres runby the thirty-three Vocational Education Committees. These have devolved responsibility for arange of continuing vocational educational programmes including:- literacy programmes; educationprovision for asylum seekers; prison education services; senior Traveller training; the VocationalTraining Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) for the long-term unemployed and the Post LeavingCertificate courses, which although principally directed at school leavers, are also an important reentryroute to learning for adults. The 14 Institutes of Technology (ITs) also have a role insupporting industry development and innovation at local level. Other state agencies which operateat this level include:• FÁS which delivers continuous skills training directly and provides funds to other trainingproviders to undertake training.• Enterprise Ireland provides funding to support training within internationally tradedcompanies.• Fáilte Ireland provides ongoing training for the tourism and catering sectors.• The Irish Fisheries Board (BIM), for the fishing, processing and aquaculture industries.• Teagasc, which provides training for farmers and for the food processing industry.• Coillte, the Irish Forestry Board, which trains forestry workers.• Bord Altranais, responsible for implementing CVET for the nursing profession.• The Crafts Council of Ireland which is the national design and development organization forthe craft industry in Ireland.• Údarás Na Gaeltachta, a regional development agency which operates in Irish-speakingareas and aims to develop these areas through local enterprise and skills development.• 35 County and City Enterprise Boards which provide training schemes mainly targeted atthe development needs of micro-enterprises and their employees.34Expert Group on Future Skill Needs, Tomorrow’s Skills: Towards a National Skills Strategy, FORFÁS , 2007.39

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