For Oral Answer on : 18/10/2022
Question Number(s): 91 Question Reference(s): 51633/22
Department: Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science his plans, if any, for the further development and expansion of local training initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Local Training Initiatives (LTI) currently are, and will continue to be, an important element of the broad range of education and training supports provided by the Further Education and Training (FET) system to local communities.
They operate under the Education and Training Boards and are community-based training programmes targeted at economically, socially, geographically and educationally disadvantaged people. The programmes are designed to assist learners enter or re-enter the labour market and/or further education and training. Training provision organised through LTI programmes is not intended to be permanent and it is this aspect, which provides ETBs with the flexibility to use their resources in the community effectively in response to new and emerging needs. The relevant programmes enable local communities to carry-out valuable and necessary projects of benefit in their communities. The provision of training courses under the initiative is influenced by the overall live register and local demand.
SOLAS approved an allocation of €16.83m for 2022 which is broadly in line with the €16.53m approved for 2021. The latest projections are that some 2,200 beneficiaries will take part in LTI programmes in 2022, as compared with 2,095 beneficiaries in 2021.
An Operational Guidelines Working Group, under the auspices of Education and Training Boards Ireland the representative body for ETBs is reviewing the operational guidelines applying to Local Training Initiatives and other provision within the FET Sector. The Group is due to report to the ETB FET Directors later in 2022.
The FET Strategy, Future FET, Transforming Learning, sets out the ambition and vision for the FET sector up to 2024. As part of that Strategy and the Strategic Performance Agreements being agreed between SOLAS and the 16 ETBs, ETBs will be seeking to consolidate and standardise provision and supports to this learner group across all programmes including those under Local Training Initiatives.