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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

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language learning with a flexible award system”. The 2011 Report 87 recommends that work on thealignment of the two Frameworks be continued “with a view to facilitating and encouraging theinclusion of ab initio level language modules on third-level programmes.6.5 Training Programmes to help job-seekers and people vulnerable to exclusion from thelabour market.There are a range of education and training programmes available for those vulnerable to exclusionfrom the labour market to help them upgrade their skills in order to re-enter the labour market.Those most excluded include unemployed people and people with disabilities or special needs,people in prison, people with literacy problems and people in the travelling community. 88Training Programmes for the unemployed: The Government has identified four cohorts amongthe unemployed to receive priority access to the state’s training, education, guidance and workexperience opportunities. These priority cohorts are:• Those with lower skills or education levels;• Those on the Live Register for more than one year;• Younger people (under 25 years but also up to age 34); and• Those made redundant from sectors that will not return to their previous levels of activityeven after economic recovery (e.g., construction, manufacturing, and the retail andwholesale trade).The main education and training measures for the unemployed have been described in detail inprevious sections. They are:FÁS Programmes:• Specific Skills Training (5.6)• Community Training Centres (5.5)• Local Training Initiatives (6.3)• Traineeships (5.6)• Bridging (5.5)• Redundant Apprentices (5.4)• Evening Courses• TESGFull-time VEC Programmes• PLCs - Post Leaving Cert Courses (5.6/6.2)• VTOS - Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (6.2)• Youthreach (5.5)Part-time VEC Programmes• Adult Literacy (6.3)• BTEI - Back to Education Initiative Community Education (6.3)• Community Education (6.3)In order to target the priority cohorts described above, the Department of Education and Skillsinstructed FÁS to offer 80 per cent of its training and work experience places for the unemployed to87National Languages Strategy. Royal Irish Academy National Committee for Modern Language, Literary and CulturalStudies. August 2011. Ireland.88The Travelling Community in Ireland is a nomadic ethnic minority with numbers estimated in excess of 25,000.80

individuals from one of the priority cohorts. At the end of June 2010, over 90 per cent of FÁStrainees came from these four priority cohorts. This large-scale increase in the numbers receivingtraining was achieved, in two principal ways. First, the completion of modules rather than longercourses was introduced; for example, participation on FÁS Specific Skills Training (SST) trebled tojust over 20,000 between 2008 and 2009, principally by reorganising a greater part of it to take theform of ten - twenty week, stand-alone courses leading to minor certification awards and reducingthe share of SST that took the form of linked courses lasting twelve to fifty-two weeks. Second,more evening courses, online courses and blended learning initiatives were provided: in 2010, halfof over 81,000 new starts on FÁS training programmes were on such course. 89A total of €34.2m has been allocated under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) toprovide upskilling and retraining supports for redundant workers from three companies Dell(Limerick), Waterford Crystal and SR Technics (Dublin). A further application was submitted inFebruary 2011 for EGF support of €55m for former workers in three construction sub-sectors. 90Skillnets (see 6.3), which fosters the provision by groups of companies of employee training, hasbeen required, since 2010, to have a minimum of ten per cent of its trainees sourced from among theunemployed; 4,800 unemployed individuals benefited in 2010, and a target of 8,000 has been set for2011 of whom up to 50% are to be low skilled. 91Training programmes for other cohorts vulnerable to exclusion from the labour market.Rehabilitative Vocational Training. The National Learning Network (NLN) is Ireland's largestnon-Government training organisation and it provides training and employment services to peoplewith disabilities in over 50 locations nationally. People with mental health difficulties (35%) andintellectual disabilities (24%) represent a significant proportion of the overall client group.Training staff are highly skilled in the provision of bespoke training solutions to meet the needs ofindividual learners and unique learner groups. The organisation offers over 40 different vocationalprogrammes for people with disabilities which carry nationally and internationally recognisedcertification and are designed to lead directly to jobs or progression to further education. NationalLearning Networks is a registered provider of nationally recognised FETAC accreditedprogrammes since 2006.All NLN programmes are based within the community and utilise NLN’s strong links withemployers to find work placements and employment for students. As a result NLN programmeshave above average outcomes with 90% of participants progressing to employment or furthereducation.NLN also provides Continuous Professional Development courses, Assessment Services forchildren, adolescents and adults with specific learning difficulties, and a Disability Support Servicefor VEC colleges in Dublin.FÁS also contracts with a number of Specialist Training Providers (STP) to deliver training forpeople with disabilities. The features of this specialist vocational training include:• Additional training duration• Adapted equipment• Transport arrangements89Supports and Services for Unemployed Jobseekers: Challenges and Opportunities in a Time of Recession. NationalEconomic & Social Council. August 2011. Ireland.90Ibid91Ibid81

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