Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (406, 407, 408, 409)

Micheál Martin

Question:

406. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will report on the FET guidance strategy following a review by an organisation (details supplied) that was completed in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14097/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

407. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will report on funding to adult guidance services nationwide since 2005; if the service meets up to 53,000 persons per year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14098/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

408. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of vacancies in the adult guidance counsellor sector by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14099/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

409. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he or his officials have met with the Ministers for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and Business, Enterprise and Innovation to discuss the adult guidance counsellor service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14100/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 406 to 409, inclusive, together.

The Adult Educational Guidance Services (AEGS) were established within Vocational Education Committees (VECs) in 2000 with a remit to provide career and educational guidance to participants in further education sector before, during, and after their course. The AEGS are now based in the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs).

There are a total of 37 AEGS across the 16 ETBs. Currently, there are no vacancies in the AEGS in 14 of the ETBs. There are a total of three vacancies in the AEGS in two of the ETBs. I understand that the processes are underway to fill these vacancies.

There is a commitment in the Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy 2014-2019 to develop a FET Guidance Strategy. My Department is currently engaging with consultants on the finalisation of an overall Career Guidance Review. The Career Guidance Review is a comprehensive review of guidance in the education sector and will set out the overall landscape of guidance tools and provision in the education sector. The findings and recommendations of this review will inform the development of the FET guidance services. This includes the AEGS but also guidance delivered in Post Leaving Certificate colleges and other settings.

I understand that to date there has been no formal inter-Departmental meeting between my Department, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection specifically on the adult guidance service, although issues relating to guidance, referrals and jobseeker and learner supports are regularly discussed in broader meetings.

Please see funding figures for the Adult Guidance Service from 2005 - 2017 in appendix 1.

The total beneficiaries of the AEGS from 2015-2017 is also attached for the Deputy's information, at appendix 2.

The National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE) provides reports to inform my Department and SOLAS on the work of the 37 AEGS annually. The reports provide both qualitative and quantitative data on service provision. These reports are published on the NCGE's website at www.ncge.ie.

Appendix 1 - Funding to Adult Guidance Service 2005 - 2017

Year

Funding €

2005

4,580,426

2006

5,586,871

2007

6,587,000

2008

6,810,129

2009

6,854,000

2010

6,854,000

2011

6,799,536

2012

6,847,728

2013

6,666,373

2014

6,012,100

2015

6,295,395

2016

5,806,363

2017

5,951,070

Appendix 2 – Beneficiaries AEGS 2015 - 2017

Year

Beneficiaries

2015

54,471

2016

52,297

2017

52,885