Fianna Fail Education spokesperson in the Seanad, Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed the announcement by Minister Niall Collins TD of €430 million to fund an ambitious new phase of capital investment in the further and higher education sectors.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “I am pleased to see that 45% of the total allocation of €430 million will be directed to further education and training, including the expansion of skills centres and apprenticeship programmes across the country and the establishment of Further Education and Training Colleges of the Future. The funding available to the FET sector through these new programmes alone will be more than triple the total capital expenditure in the FET sector over the past four years.”
“The new programmes will also see significant capital investment in the higher education sector, including a programme dedicated to strengthening Technological Universities.”
“I have been advocating strongly at a national level to see the Further Education Training sector to be prioritised and developed out. We need to ensure that our education sector is feeding all areas of our economy and is providing a diverse range of offerings to students.”
“This new phase of capital investment will make a significant contribution to supporting the skills pipeline through the creation of additional places across a range of skills areas, and this is really important as we look to the future.”
Fiona concluded “The funds will be managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for the higher education sector and SOLAS for the FET sector. Both Agencies will write to sectoral bodies with details of the application processes in the coming days. I am pleased to see opportunities for upskilling and further education being prioritised.”