Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (189)

Seán Crowe

Question:

189. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the staff shortage in the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board; if his further attention has been drawn to the fact that the shortage is severely impacting on the service it provides and persons seeking to avail of its services are being directed to other DDLETB centres due to the shortages in south-west County Dublin; the reason for the staff shortage; the way in which he plans to ensure the shortage is ended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51343/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I understand that this question relates specifically to the employment of Guidance Counsellors in Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB).

Guidance is provided in the Further Education and Training sector through the Adult Education Guidance Service (AEGS) and through the guidance allocations to Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) Colleges.

SOLAS provides funding to the 16 Education and Training Boards for the provision of an AEGS that provides a comprehensive, professional and quality guidance and information service to the returning adult learner. This service is open to those who;

- are currently on Literacy, BTEI, Community Education and VTOS programmes

- wish to return to learning but do not know what to do or where to start looking

- left school early and wish to continue with their education and training

- are in receipt of social welfare benefits or who are dependent on someone who is in receipt of social welfare benefits

My officials have contacted DDLETB in relation to your question. The ETB have stated that they are not aware of any referral to other services or areas as a result of a staff shortages.

The ETB reported that in Dublin South East, the ETB employs two Guidance Counsellors and one Information Officer. In Dublin South West, they employ 2 Guidance Counsellors and 2 Information Officers, one of which is currently vacant as a result of a very recent retirement. I understand a recruitment process is underway to fill this vacancy.