Establishment of Education and Training Boards

The establishment of sixteen Education and Training Boards on Monday July 1st 2013 marked an historic event in Irish education. These new statutory education authorities, formed from the aggregation of Ireland’s 33 VECs (abolished on July 1st) and the integration of the 16 FÁS Training Centres, will be the vehicles for the delivery of coordinated education and training programmes across Ireland for decades to come.
Establishment day (Monday July 1st 2013) marked the start of a transformation process which seeks to more clearly align education and training provision with nationally agreed priorities and strategies. ETBs will continue to maintain and grow both first level (community national schools) and second level (258 schools and colleges) provision, but will now work with SOLAS (established by the Further Education and Training Bill 2013) to meet the skills needs of jobseekers and other learners through a range of further education and training programmes, as well as apprenticeship training programmes. This structural overhaul of the education and training sector which is designed to integrate the delivery mechanism under ETBs is an ambitious programme of reform implemented by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn TD.
This is the start of a process of integration which can deliver more efficient and effective education and training services to local communities in the context of greater national coherence and oversight by both the Department of Education and Skills and SOLAS.