Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Education and Training Provision
170. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of tourism and hospitality skills training positions allocated to the Limerick city constituency in 2015 and 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4706/17]
171. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of funding that was allocated to the Limerick City constituency for tourism and hospitality skills training in 2015 and 2016 by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4766/17]
172. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the agency or Government body which has oversight and responsibility for hospitality and tourism skills development policy here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4768/17]
180. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of tourism and hospitality skills training positions allocated to the Roscommon-Galway constituency in 2015 and 2016 in view of the fact that the sector is facing a crisis shortage of skilled staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4729/17]
181. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of funding that was allocated to the Roscommon-Galway constituency for tourism and hospitality skills training in 2015 and 2016 by his Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4730/17]
182. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the agency or government body which has oversight and responsibility for hospitality and tourism skills development policy here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4731/17]
198. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of funding that was allocated to the Dublin north-west constituency for tourism and hospitality skills training in 2105 and 2016 by his Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. [4824/17]
199. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the agency or Government body which has oversight and responsibility for hospitality and tourism skills development policy here. [4825/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 to 172, inclusive, 180 to 182, inclusive, and 197 to 199, inclusive, together.
My Department has overall responsibility for policy development for education and training provision across the economy including the hospitality and tourism sector. There are no plans to re-establish a dedicated training organisation for the sector, but rather to deliver the required education and training through the mainstream higher and further education and training sectors, in line with provision for other sectors.
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGSFN) carried out a study on the future skills needs of the sector and the report of the study was published in November 2015. The objective was to assess demand arising within the sector in Ireland including hotels, restaurants, bars, canteens and catering over the period to 2020. The aim was to ensure that there will be the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth. The report provides a clear and coherent framework for the development of talent in the hospitality sector in the years ahead to help drive both hospitality business and employment growth which is one the key goals of the Government’s Tourism Policy Statement – People, Place and Policy-Growing Tourism to 2025.
The Study assesses skills demand at all NFQ levels, with a particular focus on career progression opportunities for those at lower skilled levels to help fill anticipated job openings. The report provides a set of recommendations designed to address the skills requirements of the sector over the period to 2020. A key recommendation in the report was the need to set up of a National Oversight and Advisory Group comprising all the key hospitality stakeholders.
Following on this recommendation, the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group was established early last year, chaired by SOLAS for the first year. To date the group has held seven meetings.
Membership of the Group includes the Restaurant Association of Ireland, the Irish Hotel Federation, the Irish Hospitality Institute, the Licenced Vintners Association, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Social Protection, the Higher Education Authority, Skillnets, SOLAS, ETBs, IoTs, DIT and Quality and Qualifications Ireland.
The role of the Group is to monitor progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the EGFSN and to provide a forum for ongoing collaboration in addressing the skills needs of the sector and to identify and progress actions to overcome barriers on its implementation.
The Group plans to publish a progress report later this year. To date work has been undertaken on careers promotion via a range of fora, the launch of the Tourism Insightonline programme –aimed at promoting careers in tourism and hospitality with particular reference to transition year and Youthreach participants. Audits of both higher and further education facilities and courses are underway as well as the establishment of a Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet which aims to address key skills requirements of restaurants and catering companies to help drive the domestic hospitality sector, employment growth, talent attraction and retention.
Funded through the National Training Fund by my Department, the network plans to design tailored programmes covering all aspects of the restaurant, food and beverage industry to SMEs nationally, with a particular focus on career progression for those at lower skilled levels to help fill anticipated job openings and increase retention levels within the sector and is well placed to address key recommendations of the EGFSN 2015 Report on the Future Skills.
Last week, I launched the 2016-2020 Action Plan to expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship in Ireland, setting out how State agencies, education and training providers and employers will work together to deliver on the Programme for Government commitments on the expansion of apprenticeship and traineeship in the period to 2020. The Plan sets out how we will manage the pipeline of new apprenticeships already established through the first call for proposals in 2015 and also commits to a new call for apprenticeship proposals later this year to provide for the needs of all sectors, including hospitality and tourism. Over the lifetime of the Action Plan, 50,000 people will be registered on apprenticeship and traineeship programmes representing a doubling of current activity.
Work is progressing on the development of a new Commis Chef Apprenticeship led by the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland working with Kerry Education and Training Board. It is planned that this programme will commence later this year. The Apprenticeship Council also recently approved development funding for a separate proposal to develop a Chef de Partie Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship Council will continue to work with the proposers of these new programmes to develop them into sustainable apprenticeships that can be delivered on a nationwide basis. The funding for planned and forecast expansion in 2017 will see an additional €20 million provided.
In 2015 a new Career Traineeship initiative was begun by SOLAS in collaboration with ETBs and enterprise to develop a more effective model of work-based learning, primarily at NFQ levels 4 and 5, incorporating best national and international research and practice. Networks of Employers have been created to facilitate partnerships between ETBs and employers in identifying training needs, designing the training programmes, recruitment of learners and delivery of the training on and off the job. The Career Traineeship model of work-based learning is currently being piloted with the Hospitality and Engineering sectors, with the involvement of seven ETBs.
Given the breadth and range of programmes within the Further Education and Training (FET) sector, it is not possible to provide details of funding and places on a county by county basis across specific sectoral provision. However, one way in which Solas classify FET provision is by the career areas which it serves. The following table on provision in the FET sector, shows the total number of beneficiaries in the career areas of Food and Beverage and Tourism in each of the sixteen Education and Training Boards for 2015 along with that planned for 2016. As yet, final 2016 figures are not available.
While it is not possible to give details of expenditure at the level of career areas, the scale of total investment in FET and the numbers who served on both a full and part-time basis are also included in the table.
In relation to the number of tourism and hospitality skills training positions within the higher education sector in 2015 and 2016 and the amount of funding allocated for tourism and hospitality skills training in the same years, it is not possible to give a breakdown by county as students can apply for courses throughout the country, through the CAO application process. However the following table on provision in the higher education sector gives a breakdown outlining the number of training positions and the total estimated funding allocated which is categorised by each individual Institute.
In 2015 the total number of students in higher education courses in this sector was 8,220 with estimated funding allocated of approx. €47.4million and in 2016 the total number of students for the sector was 8,033 with estimated funding allocated of approx. €48.4m. The funding detailed in this response includes an estimation of grants allocated to these courses, student contribution and free fees. The student numbers are calculated as full-time equivalents (FTE) which includes part-time and full-time student counts.
This analysis of the higher education sector includes all courses within the following categories:
- Hospitality & Culinary
- Heritage & Cultural
I also understand that a limited amount of complementary tourism-related business development and training supports are provided by Fáilte Ireland, the agency responsible for encouraging, promoting and supporting tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy. However, I have no role or responsibility in relation to Fáilte Ireland. Matters relating to that agency and its training and business supports are matters for my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.