Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
National Training Fund
269. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the expenditure under the national training fund between funding allocated to those in employment and funding for those unemployed on an annual basis in 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020; the percentage breakdown of the funding between training for those in employment and those unemployed; the number of participants under the programme annually according to this same breakdown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6347/20]
270. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount collected from the national training levy in 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020; the use made of this funding by types of course or programme, apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, third-level, research and so on; the purpose of the fund; the evolution of its use over the past number of years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6348/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 269 and 270 together.
The National Training Fund (NTF) Act, 2000 provides for a levy on employers to be used to fund the development of and raising of skills amongst those in, or seeking, employment.
Funding from the National Training Fund (NTF) is allocated by my Department with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in accordance with the provisions of the National Training Fund Act, 2000.
Following a consultation process, the Government, as part of Budget 2018, decided to raise the rate of the National Training Fund (NTF) levy by 0.1% in 2018 to 0.8% and by a further 0.1% in both 2019 and 2020. The increase to the levy was accompanied by a programme of reforms in how the NTF is managed, evaluated and reported on.
An independent review of the National Training Fund was commissioned by the Department of Education and Skills as part of the package of reforms and this review was published by the Minister for Education and Skills on 17 August 2018. The report made 14 specific recommendations across 4 key areas:
- Reform of the future direction of the NTF.
- Utilising the NTF to support investment in Higher Education.
- Enhancing enterprise engagement and input to NTF priorities.
- Improvements in monitoring/evaluation of the NTF
An Implementation Plan to deliver these recommendations was published alongside the announcement of Budget 2019 along with details of a new NTF advisory group. This advisory group is a permanent resourced structure to optimise enterprise engagement on NTF priorities. The membership of the group consists of key stakeholders from the enterprise sector, Department officials, and bodies who have a strategic and oversight role in delivery of skills provision. The Group has met on three occasions in 2019 and have informed the priorities and direction of funding from the NTF for Budget 2020.
In recent years, there has been a need to change and rebalance the suite of funded programmes to reflect the changing labour market conditions and areas of skills needs. Programmes are now more focused on labour market skill needs across higher education, further education and training and other partners. The NTF Advisory Group has been considering the implications for the Fund in light of the transformed economic and labour market landscape arising from COVID-19 and have fed into the overall skills policy as part of the immediate response to the current crisis and also the future world of work.
Amount Collected from the NTF Levy 2018 – April 2020
The NTF levy is collected by the Revenue Commissioners as part of the PRSI collection system. The funds collected is included in the transfer of gross PRSI from the Revenue Commissioners to the Social Insurance Fund of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). Each year DEASP undertakes an apportionment exercise to analyse PRSI collection data and to apportion funds to the Social Insurance Fund; the Health Levy and the National Training Fund.
At the end of April 2020, the National Training Fund had received €261m in respect of NTF levy receipts. This would represent the contributions from employers in respect of the four months from December 2019 to March 2020. The following table shows the income generated by the levy from 2018 to 2020. In the 2020 Revised Estimates for the Public Service, the levy is profiled to collect €823m, although this estimate was made before the current COVID-19 crisis. NTF income is now likely to be significantly reduced given the economic impact of COVID-19. Early estimates project that the reduction in income will be over 20%.
I also include tables which outline the additional information requested by the Deputy:
Table 1: NTF provision funding by types of course of programme
Table 2: Breakdown of participation by NTF programme
Table 3: The percentage breakdown of the funding between training for those in employment and those unemployed
Table 4:The number of participants under the programme annually by NTF Programme
Additional information on the programmes supported by the Fund can be found at the following link:
">National Training Fund