SOLAS Executive Director to Present Further Education and Training Strategy at Shannon Chamber Seminar

Following on from a very successful seminar on the supports available to employers from the Department of Social Protection, Shannon Chamber is now directing its attention to the training needs of business and the strategy to improve deliverables in this area between now and 2019.

SOLAS executive director Fiona Hartley has accepted Shannon Chamber’s invitation to present the recently launched Further Education Training Strategy (FET) 2014 – 2019 at a breakfast seminar in Westpark Business Campus, Shannon on Wednesday, 22 October. Paul Patten, Education and Training Officer with Limerick and Clare Further Education and Training Board (LCETB) will co-present.

As Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes explains: “Retaining and upgrading skills is so essential for the retention and attraction of business to the Shannon region. It’s an area which most companies invest a lot in, yet many skill gaps remain. As a contributor to the workshops which preceded the compilation of the new FET strategy, we’re delighted that SOLAS will now present the contents of the strategy to Shannon-based companies.”

SOLAS executive director Fiona Hartley is delighted to be visiting Shannon: “We have to thank Shannon Chamber for taking the initiative to host this seminar. It provides an ideal opportunity for local employers and enterprise in the Shannon area to debate and progress the successful implementation of the FET strategy from the enterprise viewpoint and for Chamber members to learn about the programme and services provided by Limerick and Clare ETB.

“The successful implementation of the FET will require  engagement, particularly at local level, of a range of economic development actors including education and training providers, employers, Department of Social Protection, Enterprise Ireland and IDA.

“Local engagement with employers has been identified by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) as a significant area for improvement within FET to ensure that the skills needs of enterprise are met. We hope our visit to Shannon will initiate this process of engagement,” added Ms Hartley.

For further information on the seminar and to make a booking, contact Shannon Chamber: admin@shannonchamber.ie or Tel: 061 708341.

About SOLAS

SOLAS (An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanunaigh agus Scileanna) was established on 27 October 2013 following the enactment of the Further Education and Training Act 2013.  The main function of SOLAS is to provide strategic direction and coordination to the Further Education and Training Sector in Ireland.  SOLAS, operating under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills, is responsible for the coordination, planning and funding of the Further and Education and Training sector.

The Further Education and Training Act 2013, which also provided for the dissolution of FÁS, is part of a series of structural changes within FET which include the establishment of sixteen Education and Training Boards (formerly thirty-three Vocational Education Committees) who are now responsible for the delivery of FET on a regional basis.

The legislation tasked SOLAS with developing a five-year strategy for the sector. Following an extensive consultation process the strategy was launched in May 2014. The FET strategy gives direction to and guides the transformation of the Further and Education and Training Sector for the next five years. It provides a roadmap for a more integrated FET system, articulating the common purpose that enjoins all FET providers towards achieving a world-class FET system.  It provides an overarching framework within which outcomes-based funding and planning based on robust evidence reflect learner and enterprise needs.

About Further Education and Training Strategy 2014 – 2019 – Goals

Five high-level strategic goals were identified:

  • Skills for the Economy: to address the current and future needs of learners, jobseekers, employers and employees and to contribute to national economic development
  • Active Inclusion: to support the active inclusion of people of all abilities in society with special reference to literacy and numeracy
  • Quality Provision: to provide high quality education and training programmes and to meet the appropriate national and international quality standards
  • Integrated Planning and Funding: FET provision will be planned and funded on the basis of objective analysis of needs and evidence of social and economic impact
  • Standing of FET: to ensure a valued learning path leading to agreed employment, career, developmental, personal and social options.

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Dympna O’Callaghan – Director, molly d marketing

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