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Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 21.  Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the expected management and organisational structures of new further education and training authority SOLAS; and the percentage of its management that will come from the entity previously known as FÁS. [2958/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciaran Cannon Zoom on Ciaran Cannon SOLAS will have strategic responsibility for further education currently delivered by Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and training currently delivered by FÁS. FÁS will be disbanded as part of this process and its training provision transferred to VECs. While it is envisaged that SOLAS itself will be staffed mostly by former FÁS Head Office staff, around 700 FÁS Training Division staff (including trainers) will transfer to VECs. In addition, the 33 VECs will be rationalised into 16 Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs). Already, some 700 FÁS Employment and Community Services staff have transferred to the Department of Social Protection as part of the establishment of the National Employment and Entitlements Service (NEES).

I chair the SOLAS Implementation Group, established by the Government, charged with drafting the Action Plan which will set out the change process involved. A stakeholder consultation process has commenced, the results of which will inform the Action Plan. Details of the process are available on my Department’s website.

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