New education and training strategy to boost employment

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Noelle OÕConnell, Executive Director, European Movement Ireland and SOLAS Executive Director Andrew Brownlee at the launch of the new strategic performance agreement.

THE recently published Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board’s three-year strategic agreement aims for a 30 per cent increase in the number of learners securing employment and a 46 per cent increase in the number progressing to other further or higher education courses.

Over the past 12 months, the board has worked with SOLAS, the State-sponsored Further Education and Training Authority, to develop a bespoke three-year strategic plan. SOLAS has also published a national Agreement that sets out sector-wide targets, to which the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board will contribute based on its local economic and community profile.

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The strategy outlines how the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board will deliver across six key areas with their further education and training courses including: delivering on jobs for the economy; progression to other learning opportunities; transversal skills development; expanding lifelong learning and workforce up-skilling provision.

Since 2013, the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board has been offering a diverse range of education programmes for the region. The priorities set out in the new agreement will help ensure that further education and training is future-ready and responsive to the changing technological, social and economic landscape of the Limerick and Clare region.

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board Director of Further Education and Training Paul Patton said that the launch of the strategic performance agreement represents a significant milestone in the development of further education and training in Limerick and Clare.

“It provides for overall increased activity in the delivery of support services for further education and training. This will be of benefit to learners, employers and local communities, and, in particular, to those seeking employment or in employment. It also represents significant opportunities to those learners wishing to progress within further or higher Education,” he explained.

SOLAS Executive Director of Strategy and Knowledge Andrew Brownlee said it was a  learning curve working with ETBs on the Agreements.

“The commitment of the ETBs to their region is evident and we look forward to supporting them as they work towards delivery of their targets.

“There is a real appetite for education and learning in the region and LCETB aims to ensure that further education and training in the region focuses on critical skills needs, refocussing from provision of broad-based skills to provision focussed on priority skills needs, ensuring future-ready learning for all,” he added.