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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

• Teagasc, the

• Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, provides integrated research,advisory and training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. It alsoprovides third-level and vocational courses for students entering the agricultural,horticultural or agri-food industry. Established farmers form an essential part of the Teagascclient-group and appropriate courses are provided through its countrywide network ofeducational centres.• Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, provides continuous trainingfor owners, managers and employees in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Courses aredelivered through full-time off-the-job certified training, short training interventions anddistance and e-learning. There are Fáilte Ireland approved courses available in the vastmajority of Institutes of Technology. These are largely full-time courses, ranging in durationfrom one to three years. These courses are accredited by the individual institutions, theFurther Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) and by the Higher Education andTraining Awards Council (HETAC). There are also postgraduate courses available inManagement and other areas. Fáilte Ireland is currently in the process of developing andexpanding its e-learning capacity.• The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCI) is responsible for the development of the Irish craftindustry and provides continuing training courses for those employed in the industry.• Údarás Na Gaeltachta is the state agency with responsibility for the economic, social andcultural development of the indigenous Irish speaking regions called the Gaeltacht. TheTraining and Education Section of Údarás aims: ''To encourage the Gaeltacht communitytowards lifelong learning, so as to derive full benefit from training and educationalopportunities, thereby adding to their employment options and to their personaldevelopment, and to take a lead in the provision of those opportunities.'' Údarás offers aDevelopment Scheme for managers and specialists in order to ensure that there is asufficient supply of expertise in the Gaeltacht. The training usually lasts between one and ahalf and two and a half years, and up to 75% of the costs are paid by Údarás. Údarás alsofacilitates training for companies and employees. The principal requirements for trainingarise from existing Údarás companies, although Údarás are continually attracting newcompanies to the Gaeltacht. There is considerable demand for quality control training,information technology, management development programmes and the various aspects ofaquaculture. In-company training, in all areas of industrial technology, is ongoing.• Bord Altranais, the regulatory body for the Irish nursing profession, is responsible forsupervising CVET for this sector.The third form of formal CVET in Ireland is self-funded education and training which may ormay not be part-time. Both continuing and initial vocational education and training can take placeoutside the public education and training system. Private schools, colleges and other bodies providevarious types of education and training within the FET sector, the higher education sector andprofessional level training. Examples of private colleges include the Dublin Business School,Griffith College, the Irish Management Institute, the Institute of Purchasing and MaterialsManagement whilst examples of professional bodies providing training include the Institute ofBankers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and the Irish Tax Institute. There are alsoan increasing number of private training companies that provide training on a commercial basis forenterprises many of these are members of the Irish Institute of Training and Development.Part-time fee-paying evening courses are run both in FÁS training centres and in the VEC FurtherEducation Colleges. The FÁS evening courses were originally aimed at employed workers and thegeneral public who wished to update their skills. In many cases, employer sponsored the training ofthe learner and paid or reimbursed the cost of the course. Since 2008, in response to the economicdownturn, FÁS waived course fees for unemployed learners and increased the number of eveningcourse places on offer. In 2010, almost 40,000 people (both employed and unemployed) completed66

FÁS 64 evening courses. The majority of the FÁS and VEC evening courses lead to qualificationsawarded by FETAC.Part-time adult course provision is also offered by universities and the Institutes of Technology(ITs), however these courses tend to be at Degree, Diploma or Certificate level and lead toqualifications awarded by HETAC.A number of part-time non-fee paying educational opportunities for unemployed and redundantpeople were introduced as a result of the economic downturn. A Back to College Initiative (BCI)was introduced as a temporary measure in the April 2009 Supplementary Budget. It was to provideup to 2,500 part-time third-level places to people on the Live Register for at least six months;participants were entitled to retain their social welfare entitlements. Providers were to offer coursesin areas identified by the Expert Group on Future Skill Needs (EGFSN) as supporting the goals ofthe ‘Smart Economy’. Experience with the BCI was built on in the May 2011 Jobs Initiative, whichintroduced a new ‘Springboard Progamme’ to provide part-time, higher-education opportunities forunemployed people. It is envisaged that the Springboard Programme will help some 5,900jobseekers, principally unemployed people with a Leaving Cert., PLC or equivalent (NFQ levels5/6) and a previous history of employment in sectors unlikely to recover to pre-recession levels; andunemployed people with a degree and who may require additional upskilling or reskilling to reenteremployment (NFQ levels 6 to 9). 65There have been other initiatives on a smaller scale boosting the capacity of higher educationinstitutions to take in more of those currently unemployed, e.g., the provision of an additional 1,500places on Post-Leaving Certificate Courses, of 930 places on a range of new short part-timetransition programmes in the IT sector to assist unemployed people develop some of the necessaryskills for studying at third level and 280 places on the accelerated certificate programmes run by theITs 66 .Course curriculum in CVET is generally modular in design and credit-based with a variety ofassessment methods. The modules are based on learning outcomes which are in turn structuredunder the three principal headings of knowledge; skills and competence. The course content isflexible in terms of delivery, and generally focuses on learner needs and is designed to advanceprogression to further and higher levels of qualifications.A new national awards system is currently being introduced 67 for all further education and training.The new system - the Common Awards System (CAS) provides awards at level 1-6 on the NationalFramework of Qualifications. The CAS will replace all FETAC awards over time - existing awardsare becoming part of the FETAC legacy and are being referenced against the new CommonAwards.The Common Awards System is a national outcomes-based awards system for all further educationand training. The Common Awards System provides a coherent architecture for all awards,including:• A credit system, reflecting the typical amount of learner effort, including directed and selfdirected effort. The credit system enables learners to accumulate recognition over time and64FÁS Annual Report 2010.65Supports and Services for Unemployed Jobseekers: Challenges and Opportunities in a Time of Recession. NationalEconomic & Social Council. August 2011. Ireland.66Supports and Services for Unemployed Jobseekers: Challenges and Opportunities in a Time of Recession NationalEconomic & Social Council. August 2011. Ireland.67A Common Awards System for Further Education and Training FETAC.67

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