Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (101)

Niall Collins

Question:

101. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the concern of the Tallaght community that the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education Board is to close the St. Dominic's VTOS project based at St. Dominic's national school in Tallaght and, while relocating 20 places to another centre in Tallaght, transferring 20 places to Balbriggan; if he will appreciate that this will cause much upset in Tallaght where there is already a serious youth unemployment problem; and if he will urgently intervene. [18515/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

There are currently 5,000 approved VTOS places available nationwide. VTOS places are allocated to Education and Training Boards (ETBs) on an annual basis and it is a matter for ETBs to allocate those places to their colleges and institutions.

Dublin Dun Laoghaire ETB has 510 approved VTOS places. Following the amalgamation of the former Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Vocational Educational Committees (VECs), the establishment of the Dublin Dun Laoghaire ETB and the merger of the former FÁS services the ETB has carried out a review of the provision of its Adult Education services.

During this review it became apparent that while the Tallaght area has 120 approved VTOS places Balbriggan, a rapidly growing area with high unemployment, only had 20. The ETB then made the decision to increase the available places in Balbriggan by 20 places and to make 100 places available for the Tallaght area.