Written Answers. - Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

1129 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason the VTOS places in schools in County Kildare are being cut; the nature and level of these cuts; if he will reconsider this matter having particular regard to requirements of the area and the ongoing need for people in positions to re-train themselves for the employment market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20661/00]

There are currently 5,000 approved places for the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, VTOS. To date, this figure has met the overall demand on a national level. County Kildare VEC has an allocation of 250 places with an additional 20 places given for the academic year 2000-01.

All 5,000 places have been allocated. However, it is intended to examine the total uptake in all 33 vocational education committees at the beginning of October.

The back to education initiative, as set out in the recent White Paper on Adult Education – Learning for Life, proposes to expand VTOS, Youthreach, PLC and senior Traveller training programmes on a part-time basis. The intention is that this new initiative will address the increase in demand for places, and provide flexibility in provision of programmes to meet the demands of adults wishing to return to education and training. A working group is at present finalising the details for the administration of the initiative so that it will become operational by the end of the year.

Question No. 1130 taken with Question No. 1083.