Written answers

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Department of Education and Science

FÁS Training Courses

11:00 am

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Question 32: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the amount that has been drawn down of the €56 million that was made available to FÁS for short term courses in budget 2010; the number of training places created; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46329/10]

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
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As at the end of October €51.8 million was drawn down by FÁS to provide for a range of short-term courses (courses of 45 to 105 days duration). This funding provided for 82,809 training places (both those who have completed and those currently still in training).

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Question 33: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the amount that has been drawn down of the €20 million that was made available to the activation fund; the number of training places created; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46330/10]

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
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As part of Budget 2010, the Government announced the creation of a €20 million Labour Market Activation Fund, intended to deliver 3,500 places on training and education programmes for the unemployed. Its objective was to stimulate innovation in the provision of training and activation measures for jobseekers seeking to up-skill and get back into work. The Fund is being targeted to specific priority groups among the unemployed: the low skilled, and those formerly employed in declining sectors - construction, retail and manufacturing sectors, with particular emphasis on the under 35's and the long-term unemployed.

On 5th August, an additional allocation of €12 million, financed in part by savings in proposed European Globalisation Fund expenditure, was made available by the Department of Education and Skills, enabling funding to be offered to 33 additional projects. This brought total funding to €32 million for 59 projects proposing to provide up to 12,000 education and training places for the unemployed. Twenty-six projects providing for over 6,500 education and training places, in all geographical regions, benefited from the initial fund of €20 million.

In the main, Phase 1 projects are meeting their interim targets. As of mid-October some 3,441 or 52% of Phase 1 places were already filled, with further courses coming on stream between November 2010 and January 2011. On the basis of current information, it appears that the targets for places to be provided as set out in tenders by projects can be largely met. Thirty-three projects providing for some 5,400 places in all geographic regions benefited from the second tranche of funding allocated in August. Many projects are still in the process of recruiting participants. It is therefore not possible yet to state the total number of beneficiaries from the Fund.

Contractual terms provide for payments to projects in three tranches – 40% on contract signature, 30% six weeks after programme start subject to achievement of interim activity and expenditure targets, and 30% on programme completion subject to achievement of education and training provision contracted for. As of end November 2010, €14.7 million had been paid to projects. It is anticipated that by year's end some €18 million will have been drawn from the Fund. The balance, €14 million, represents the commitment to projects for payments that fall due during 2011, subject to them meeting the delivery terms of the contract.

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