Training focus on young adults
Government funding for training courses is better spent on “motivated young adults” than on “reluctant teenagers” who may not be well behaved, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said.
He and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore yesterday announced details of Momentum, an initiative involving up to 6,500 new training places in such areas as animation and information and communications technology, as well as the green economy and social and healthcare services.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Quinn was asked about the simultaneous cuts to post-Leaving Cert courses (PLCs) announced in Budget 2013.
Many of the PLCs facing funding cuts currently provide courses in these fields.
Momentum will be aimed at the long-term unemployed and those under 25. It will have a budget of €20 million next year and will offer on-the-job experience as well as training and will be delivered by the public and private sectors, with over 62 programmes in 87 locations around the State.
Mr Quinn said the courses would be free, aligned to industry requirements and would last between 11 and 45 weeks.
Asked about the fact that the PLCs providing similar courses and work experience around the State had faced cuts, he said: “These were the harmonisation of the pupil-teacher ratio, in post-Leaving Certificate courses along with post-primary on the basis that motivated young adults who are attending a course will be better behaved and more engaged than reluctant teenagers, shall we say.
“However I have met with the chief executive, Jacinta Stewart, of the City of Dublin VEC and I’ve asked her to give me a complete impact analysis across the City of Dublin VEC . . . and she’s going to come back and provide me with that and we’ll then look and see what the impact of all this is.
“Because clearly in the light of what we’re trying to do today, it is those courses that are relevant to the labour market, because there are major vacancies in the labour market for certain types of skill sets, [and] we’re trying to match those skills with people who have existing skills but in the wrong area and to match them back into an active labour market environment.”