A total of €837 million has been provided by my Department to FÁS in 2004. Of this, €366 million is allocated to employment programmes, €307 million to training and integration supports and €22.7 million for capital expenditure.
The allocation to employment programmes includes an amount of €351 million, which will support up to 25,000 places across the three major employment schemes, that is, community employment, job initiative and the social economy programme. This allocation is similar to that provided in 2003. Accordingly, participation levels over the three schemes in 2004 are being maintained at 2003 levels.
The allocation of €307 million to training and integration schemes in 2004 represents a 3% increase on the 2003 provision. FÁS, through the prioritisation and efficient use of resources, will endeavour to maintain activity levels at 2003 levels. The €22.7 million capital allocation to FÁS this year for the maintenance and refurbishment of certain training centres will enhance the delivery of training by FÁS.