Learning to get balance right
The transfer of FAS training to the Department of Education is, for the most part, a welcome move. It should go a long way toward ending the artificial division between education and training and the 'turf wars' that often resulted in wasteful duplication of courses. However, it is not without its pitfalls.
The danger is that the voices of industry will be drowned out by those from education in shaping training programmes. Training has to be related to the needs of industry.
The new Education and Skills Minister, Mary Coughlan, will come under pressure to transfer funds from training to allow for a massive increase in the number of students on Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses. PLCs have been one of the success stories of Irish education, bridging the gap between education and work for tens of thousands of young people.