Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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  160.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6373/12]

  161.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6374/12]

  162.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6375/12]

  163.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6376/12]

  164.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6377/12]

  165.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae  Information on Michael Healy-Rae  Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   his views on a mater (details supplied) regarding SOLAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6378/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciaran Cannon  Zoom on Ciaran Cannon  I propose to take Questions Nos. 160 to 165, inclusive, together.

In July 2011, following a wide-ranging review of options regarding the provision of further education and training and the structures to support it, the Government announced the establishment of a new further education and training authority — SOLAS. I chair the Implementation Group established by the Government, which is charged with drawing up an Action Plan to set out the change process involved. The Group is comprised of representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, FÁS, the Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA, representing Vocational Education Committees) and the Department of Social Protection. The Group decided to initiate a stakeholder consultation process and published a consultation paper to assist in that process. In response to a request from the IVEA, I gave additional time to VECs to make submissions, so that they would be able to consult with their committees and provide substantive input. I intend to hold an information seminar for stakeholders shortly and all stakeholders who made submissions, including VECs, will be invited to participate. As part of the change process, FÁS and the IVEA have established joint transformation teams which are analysing a range of issues as part of the process of establishing SOLAS and the structures to support it. This puts VECs at the heart of developing and implementing reforms in further education and training. Taken together with the framing of the consultation process and the [393]participation of the IVEA in the Implementation Group, I believe this enables the VECs to contribute positively to the ongoing process.


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