Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., announced €8 million funding in further education capital grants for the country’s 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
This capital funding will be targeted to for improvement works for Further Education and Training (FET) provision. FET offers a wide variety of life-long education options to anyone over 16. FET includes apprenticeships, traineeships, Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses, community and adult education as well as core literacy and numeracy services.
Senator Aisling Dolan noted
‘This will be a boost to the Galway Roscommon ETB (GRETB) which has over 40 Further Education Training facilities across the 2 counties. It is the second largest ETB in terms of geographic size.
This announcement by Minister Simon Harris of €507,500 comes under the Devolved Capital Allocation and it will allow the Education & Training Boards to manage small-scale and necessary building and improvement works when it is possible to do so, and for the purchase of equipment.
As a previous member of the GRETB board, I am aware of the work in the past year by the lecturers and tutors all across Galway & Roscommon moving courses online. I would like to acknowledge Mr David Leahy as Chief Executive as well as the Chair Cllr Michael Maher and Deputy Chair Cllr Kathleen Shanagher on behalf of the Boardmembers.
As Fine Gael spokesperson on Further Education, I am working closely with the Director of FET Eithne Nic Dhonnchadha in the GRETB and with SOLAS I’m glad to see the expansion of courses to take into account the impact of lockdown on the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors and the focus on online reskilling for new careers and opportunities. There are opportunities in childcare, healthcare, Digital Skills, retrofit courses, as well as a new forklift drivers course – check them out now on the Course Finder at gretb.ie or at fetchcourses.ie’
The Minister noted
“The funding of €8 million announced today represents a 45% increase on the 2020 Devolved Capital Allocation and is a direct response to the significant needs of the sector.
“The funding will also allow for the procurement of professional building surveys to inform longer term plans.
“In addition, with the introduction of the Emergency Health and Safety Works programme, ETBs can apply for funding to address immediate health and safety concerns arising in FET buildings.
“It is also, I hope, a signal of intent of the importance of this sector for my new Department and a sign of the focus we intend to place on further education.’