I thank the Ceann Comhairle for giving me an opportunity to raise this important matter on Topical Issues. As the Minister of State, Deputy Cannon, will know, the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board has submitted a detailed proposal to the Department of Education and Skills in respect of the delivery of training in Cavan and Monaghan from 2015 onwards. The Dundalk training centre has transferred to the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board with effect from 1 July, but no arrangements have been finalised to confirm the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board's transfer share of the training function budget and the associated staffing. Through the new structures, an obligation quite rightly has been placed on the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board to deliver on its training function, as enshrined in legislation. The situation that exists at present is not satisfactory, to put it mildly. It is a cause of serious concern to the members of the education and training board in counties Cavan and Monaghan. Equally, it will be a matter of concern for learners, staff, people wishing to access training and local enterprises in both counties.
I understand every effort is being made by officials in the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board to make progress with the necessary proposals, in conjunction with the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board, but there has not been a satisfactory outcome to date. I want to make it clear that this lack of progress cannot be attributed in any way to the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board. In that context, I can inform the House that the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board has submitted detailed proposals to the Department about the transfer of training functions, the migration of information and communications technology systems, the transfer of the budget from 2015 onwards, the transfer of five further education and training staff from Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board from Dundalk training centre, the provision of additional further education and training staff for Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board and the proposed planning schedule. Each of those proposals was fleshed out in great detail in the submission the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board made to the Department.
The Cavan-Monaghan area has been very fortunate over the years because the committed and diligent officials in the former VECs, and now in the education and training board, have worked extremely hard to deliver the progressive policies and programmes under their remit. We are fortunate that Mr. Martin O'Brien is the chief executive of the education and training board. I would also like to mention the work of Mr. John Kearney, who is the board's further education and training officer. Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Kearney and all of their staff want to deliver training as they are obliged to do under the legislation passed by the Oireachtas in the last two years. They have not yet received full engagement from the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board. This matter has been raised by my party colleague, Senator Diarmuid Wilson. My constituency colleague, Deputy Joe O'Reilly, who also has been very active on this issue shares the views I am expressing this evening. I hope the Minister of State can give me an assurance that the training functions that have been devolved to the education and training boards will be assigned to the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board. The representatives of those two counties want to ensure the board is in a position to deliver training, upskilling and support to the people who need to access it at local level.