Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (91)

John Lyons

Question:

90 Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Education and Skills in view of the target to train a further 800 computer software professionals to NFQ Level 8, if he will consider the expansion of cost effective ways of training computer software professionals that meet industry needs in a shorter period of time than it takes to achieve a level 8 qualification (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35706/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

The joint industry Government ICT Action Plan published earlier this year establishes a target of doubling the annual output of lecel 8 ICT graduates to 2,000 by 2018. In recognition of the fact that it will take time for recent increases in demand for STEM programmes to convert into increased graduate it also provides for a number of measures to increase the supply of domestic skills in the short term. 750 level 8 places have already been made available this year on intensive graduate skills conversions programmes with industry placements. Graduates will be available in early 2013. In addition, 530 people with ICT qualifications at level 8/9 have just graduated from the first phase of Springboard 2011. A further 2,200 places on ICT programmes from certificate to masters degree level were also announced at the end of May as part of the second phase of Springboard and details are available at www.springboardcourses.ie. The selection of providers to deliver the ICT conversion programmes and the new round of Springboard programmes was determined following open competitive tendering processes which were open to all public, private and not for profit education and training providers.

In relation to other levels of provision, FIT is funded annually by FÁS in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. Funding for 2012 was approved by the FÁS Board at "up to €950,000". FIT does not directly deliver training. It recruits trainees who receive tailor-made curricula, suitable for these learners, delivered by FÁS or the VECs.