Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
78. Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the recommendations the senior officials working group has made to the interdepartmental committee on the national skills strategy in relation to the potential for prioritisation across overall education and training budgets to achieve greater efficiencies and quality of output in relation to a review of the apprenticeship scheme; the principles that should apply to State-funded education and training provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44903/10]
Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Seán Haughey): Earlier this year, the OECD published a review of Ireland’s vocational education and training system under the title ‘Learning for Jobs’. This is one of seventeen such country studies that the OECD completed. A composite report comprising findings common to all seventeen countries has also been published. The OECD study found that our apprenticeship system is well structured by reference to the on and off-the-job modules that characterise it. The study also recognised that apprenticeships in this country, in contrast to others, are limited to a narrow set of occupations. It elaborated on the implications and consequences of this fact.
Informed by this important body of OECD research, it is the intention to initiate a fundamental review of our apprenticeship system next year. Its purpose will be to identify adaptations that are necessary to take account of our contemporary circumstances, how change in prospect over the next decade is likely to impact on labour market needs, how those needs should be effectively met and the respective contributions that both the private and public sectors will have to make in meeting them.
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