Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Ceisteanna (38)

Pearse Doherty


38. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the new procurement model being employed by SOLAS with regard to training is leading to a reduction in value and quality in training available to persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2549/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The establishment of the Education and Training Boards, the dissolution of FÁS and the establishment of SOLAS in 2013 has led to major changes in the co-ordination, funding and delivery of further education and training provision. This includes changes in the operation of contracted training where ETBs engage the services of third party providers to deliver some of their education and training provision. These services were formerly contracted by Training Centres under the remit of FÁS.

A review of the contracted training model was undertaken by SOLAS in 2016 which included a number of recommendations to ensure contracted training was flexible, innovative and responsive. Following this review, the Office of Government Procurement on behalf of the ETBs invited expressions of interest from suitably qualified service providers for the provision of contracted training services for which it was proposed to establish multi supplier frameworks. This competition was completed in January 2018. Each ETB is a contracting authority in respect of the services it engages.

I can confirm that a detailed analysis on the value and quality of the provision will be undertaken once a full year's data is available. SOLAS have at this stage engaged with the ETBs in collating information in relation to contracted training in order to compare with previous years.