Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (322)

Jim Daly


322. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied with the arrangement of a private company funded by the State offering training courses in County Cork in direct opposition to the local secondary school which already offers these courses and is endeavouring to maintain its pupil numbers for survival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8421/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The purpose of MOMENTUM is to help enhance the collaboration and engagement between employers and enterprise with education and training providers so as to design and deliver a range of innovative and relevant projects for individuals who have been unemployed for 12 months or more in support of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs and the National Skills Strategy. Funding is being utilised to provide solutions to the needs of both unemployed individuals and employers. Part of the strategy of the MOMENTUM programme is to provide projects in areas where research has identified potential job placement and opportunities. The projects have been distributed nationally, thus providing a good regional spread - including areas of significant disadvantage. It should be noted that the MOMENTUM fund represents less than 1.5% of the overall further education budget.

The MOMENTUM fund allocation is based on national research from organisation reports from agencies such as FÁS and FORFAS which indicate the types of occupations that have current job vacancies and MOMENTUM is focused on those areas. Courses were selected using a competitive tender process administered by FÁS. This process was used to select the best courses that would deliver the results needed to place people in jobs. FÁS cannot disclose the value of the contract awarded to the contractor in question, as this information is currently not in the public domain. The tender scoring took the cost of the projects into account in the award of the contracts. Furthermore, the structure of the funding is based on a financial risk transfer model. This means that the contractor's payments are based on the delivery of specific project outcomes, ensuring that the taxpayer gets the best value for money.