Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Questions (401)

Paul Murphy


401. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if his attention has been drawn to the problems with a proposed funding model (details supplied) and its possible detrimental impact on all Youthreach learners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34762/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Youthreach is one of a broad suite of Further Education and Training (FET) programmes that are currently funded through the FET System Funding process. This process is essentially a full cost model where each programme initially receives a set amount of funding commensurate to the estimated costs of delivery. Ultimately, the funding provided corresponds to the full costs of delivery. The proposed alternative funding model, which is being considered for all FET provision, seeks to align available funding directly with learner activity by apportioning it with regard to the previous year’s completion returns. In this respect, it is important to emphasise that this would not be a Youthreach funding model but rather a FET funding model. The envisaged benefits of such an approach include increases in transparency, efficiency and value for money.

It is also important to highlight that it is currently envisaged that, for the purposes of the model, a completer will be defined as a learner who completes 25% or more of the course. It would not be the case, under the proposed model, that centres would lose funding where a learner or learners do not complete the full course.

The exact details on the type of provision which will be categorised within each of the components of the funding model is still to be decided. The independent panel, charged with making recommendations in relation to the proposed model, are however very conscious of the unique characteristics of Youthreach provision and Youthreach learners, and are committed to ensuring that the future funding approach recognises the significant costs incurred in delivery of the programme.