Thursday, 7 February 2019

Questions (105)

Barry Cowen


105. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the breakdown of the €13,204,000 capital allocation in skills development within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6021/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The 2019 capital allocation for skills development amounting to €13.204m is spread across three expenditure subheads of my Department:

1. B1 Administration (Non Pay) - €0.204 m €3 million has been provided for the capital expenditure element of the Departmental Administration Costs in the 2019 REV allocations. This money is allocated for Departmental IT capital costs across the departments' three Programmes; First, Second and Early Years Education, Skills Development and Higher Education. €0.204 million is included under the Skills Development Programme.

2. B3 Grants to SOLAS in respect of Administration and General Expenses - €0.500 m The purpose of this provision is to meet the capital costs of the maintenance of SOLAS headquarters including the ICT infrastructure. An annual grant is paid to SOLAS. The distribution of the allocation is subsequently decided by the Board of SOLAS. The overall allocations for capital expenditure are determined as part of the Estimates process. Payments are made directly to SOLAS on a bi-monthly basis. Capital expenditure is focused on the maintenance / upgrading for health and safety or disability legislation requirements. The 2019 SOLAS Capital Allocation of €0.500m will be spent on necessary ICT equipment and any emergency building works that may arise during the year.

3. B5 Grants to SOLAS in respect of Further Education and Training Activities - €12.500 m An additional €7 million over the 2018 allocation was provided for 2019 under this subhead to address issues with the condition of the existing capital stock, to roll out critical new apprenticeship syllabi and courses, and to consolidate the provision of further education and training in modern fit-for-purpose facilities that enable the delivery of high quality integrated programmes.

A detailed planning and bidding process is currently underway in SOLAS and will be finalised at the end of March 2019. The Education and Training Boards make their Capital bids through the SOLAS Funding Allocation Request system. These are reviewed through an internal due diligence process and allocations are put to the Board of SOLAS for approval.

It is anticipated that this allocation will fund the following in 2019:-

- Carry over from 2018 projects circa €2m

- Specific apprenticeship additional facilities circa €3m

- A strategic allocation (between €200k to €300k) to each ETB for replacement of equipment throughout 2019, totalling circa €4m.

- A bidding process for the balance of circa €3.5m.