MSLETB representatives pictured at the recent launch event are (left to right) Cormac Hanlon, Peter Egan, Cllr. Mary Bohan, Tom Grady (CE), Simon Cosgrove, Sean Burke, and Bill Flynn.
A 30% increase in employment outcomes, a 25% increase in progression rates to further or higher education courses and a target of 11,900 additional qualifications in key skills areas are some of the highlights of plans for Further Education and Training by SOLAS and the national Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
Future Ready Learning – Strategic Performance Agreements: Developing the Further Education and Training System 2018 – 2020 outline how the ETBs will deliver across six key areas with their Further Education and Training provision including: delivering on jobs for the economy; progression to other learning opportunities; transversal skills development; expanding life-long learning and workforce up skilling provision.
Mayo, Sligo Leitrim ETB has been working with SOLAS over the past 12 months to develop an individual three-year, bespoke strategic plan. SOLAS has also published a national Agreement that sets out sector-wide targets, to which each ETB will contribute based on its local economic and community profile.
At a time when Brexit is on the horizon, skills developed through Further Education and Training is more important than ever. There will be a re-focussing of provision from broad based skills provision to provision focussed on Ireland’s priority skills needs. The Agreements are intended to serve as ‘living’ strategies which will response to the changing technological, social and economic landscape environment.
According to Peter Egan, Director of Further Education and Training (FET), MSLETB: “After a period of development and establishment, the strategic performance agreements demonstrate the real transformation which is taking place across the FET sector. The increased formalisation and accreditation of learning, a focus on transparent and more consistent progression routes, a rebalancing of provision towards key skills areas and workforce needs and the expansion of lifelong learning provision are facilitating a clearer learner pathway into, within and from FET.”
Tom Grady, CEO, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB said “ETBs are at the heart of communities and offer a diverse range of education programmes to cater for the needs of all our communities, individual learners and businesses. The development of Strategic Performance Agreements allows MSLETB to express ourselves individually and to have a clearly defined contribution to the national sector targets. Together with SOLAS, we continue to build a cohesive, agile and responsive sector of the Irish education system.”
The Higher Education Authority published figures that showed there were c 230,000 enrolments in Higher Education in 2017/2018. Couple this with the 300,000 plus FET beneficiaries annually and this is in excess a half a million people. This demonstrates that Irish people have a huge appetite for education and learning and these Strategic Performance Agreements will help to ensure that FET continues to be a relevant and core part of the Irish Education system.
The following is a link to the SOLAS and MSLETB Strategic Performance Agreement.