Michael Moriarty: Education and Training Boards will boost recovery – if they get resources
The recent establishment of 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs), encompassing the functions of the abolished VECs and the training division of FAS, is part of Education Minister Ruairi Quinn's strategy to establish a world-class further education and training (FET) system.
Because vocational education and training (VET) is the sector closest to the labour market, it is now central to European Union policy to reposition member states in the global economy. The EU sees education and skills enhancement as a core strategic asset for growth. Member states are re-focusing and restructuring their education and training systems to deliver on that objective.
A key challenge for the ETBs will be to deliver on the skills and competences that the labour market needs. The European Commission has urged member states to target investment in vocational and further education and training to address skills shortages and support growth in such sectors as ICT, green economy, health services and marine economy.