Written answers

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Department of Education and Skills

Ministerial Responsibilities

8:00 pm

Photo of Nicky McFaddenNicky McFadden (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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Question 171: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the specific roles and responsibilities of the Ministers of State in his Department. [17051/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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Two Ministers of State were appointed to my Department. The Minister of State, Deputy Ciarán Cannon, has responsibility for training and skills and the Minister of State, Deputy Seán Sherlock, has responsibility for research and innovation within my Department and in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Set out below, for the Deputy’s information, is a note on the roles and responsibilities of the Ministers of State.

Two Ministers of State were appointed to my Department. The Minister of State, Deputy Ciarán Cannon, has responsibility for training and skills and the Minister of State, Deputy Seán Sherlock, has responsibility for research and innovation within my Department and in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Set out below, for the Deputy’s information, is a note on the roles and responsibilities of the Ministers of State.

Oversight of the implementation of the specific range of higher education commitments that come under the responsibility of the Minister for Education and Skills in the:

Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation;

The Report of the Innovation Task Force

Recommendations in relation to research and innovation in the National Strategy for Higher Education (“Hunt Report”) in particular recommendations relating to research and research careers performance metrics, research and innovation activities, including knowledge transfer and commercialisation, and ensuring promotional criteria reflect parity of esteem for differentiated research missions across disciplines.

Oversight of the research funding programmes under the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and Irish Research Council for Science and Technology (IRCSET).

The Minister of State will have particular policy responsibility for driving the response of the higher education institutions to the commercialisation challenge, including in particular:

Ensuring that HEIs encompass IP management and commercialisation as a Central part of their mission;

Strengthening institutional competence at Technology Transfer Office level and among researchers;

Enhancing the capacity of institutes of technology to partner with industry in Regional innovation.

While not a specific delegated function given the link between performance in STEM subjects in school and the research agenda the Minister for Education and Skills proposes to involve the Minister of State in policy discussions and decisions on relevant curricular issues.

While not a specific delegated function given the link between performance in STEM subjects in school and the research agenda the Minister for Education and Skills proposes to involve the Minister of State in policy discussions and decisions on relevant curricular issues.

Further Education and Training

Within the overall strategic and structural framework for the future development of skills, training and further education which will be determined by the Minister for Education and Skills, the statutory powers and duties of the Minister for Education and Skills, conferred on him by or under the Youth Employment Agency Act 1981, the Industrial Training Act 1967, the Labour Services Act 1987 with the exception of Section 6, Section 3 (2) and Schedule 1, the National Training Fund Act 2000.

The statutory powers and duties of the Minister for Education and Skills conferred by the Education Act 1998 as they relate to planning and coordinating adult education (including adult educational disadvantage).

Further education and training programmes including the development of further education and training programmes at FETAC levels 1 to 6 (or equivalent) for early school leavers, school leavers and adults returning to education and training, particularly those with less than upper second level education and especially in the context of the National Skills Strategy, labour market entrants, re-entrants, those in employment and the unemployed.

FÁS;

The National Training Fund and programmes funded from it;

The European Social Fund;

The Labour Market Activation Fund;

The European Globalisation Fund.

The implementation of the following programmes and supports, within the resources made available:

Full-time Further Education programmes (Youthreach, Senior Traveller Training Centres (STTCs), Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) and Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses);

Part-time Further Education programmes (Adult Literacy, Community Education and the Back to Education Initiative);

The Adult Education Guidance Initiative (AEGI);

Training programmes run by FÁS, Skillnets and other agencies for the unemployed, employed, apprentices and people with disabilities.

School Transport

The statutory powers and duties of the Minister for Education and Skills conferred by the Education Act 1998 as they relate school transport services:

Policy review and development of the school transport schemes

Promotion and enhancement of safety on school transport services

Prioritisation and allocation of funding for school transport services within the resources made available.

** In exercising these delegated functions, the Ministers of State will have regard to the overall responsibilities of the Minister for Education and Skills in relation to the wider policy and budgetary framework, and the determination of priorities within that, for the Department of Education and Skills.

Photo of Nicky McFaddenNicky McFadden (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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Question 172: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the level of participation and responsibility of each Minister of State in his Department in relation to attendance at Ministerial Councils for which he has responsibility since the formation of the Government; if he will list all such meetings which have taken place and the Minister in attendance at each meeting [17064/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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Since the formation of the Government, there has been one formal EU Ministerial Council meeting and one informal meeting of Education Ministers. I attended the formal Education, Youth and Culture Council meeting in Brussels in May 2011 and Minister for State Ciarán Cannon attended the informal Ministerial meeting in Budapest in March 2011.

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