‘Putting the Learner at the centre of the new Further Education and Training Service’ – AGM 2013
Adult and community education continues to operate in a rapidly changing environment, with a number of reforms underway. AONTAS has engaged proactively with the new structures as they emerge, providing information to our members, communicating the concerns and questions of our members, and bringing learner voices to the discussions. We have been engaging with elected representatives and decision makers about the new Further Education and Training (SOLAS) Bill. Our AGM will allow our members to further explore the implications of the reform agenda through a discussion about the new Education and Training Boards which will replace the VECs. At the AGM you will hear four adult learners outline how they think the new Further Education and Training Service can best meet the needs of adult learners. Workshops will then allow members to feed into that discussion and consider the implications for their own work.
The AONTAS AGM takes place on Wednesday May 15th at the Ashling Hotel, Dublin from 10 am. Book your place here.
New further education and training authority takes shape
Reform continues in the further education and training sector with the recent introduction of draft legislation to establish SOLAS, the further education and training authority. Read the opening statements from Minister Cannon and the education spokespeople in the Oireachtas. The Further Education and Training (SOLAS) Bill now proceeds to Committee stage. AONTAS is currently meeting with members of the Committee about our response to the legislation.
The Bill is being debated as the Education and Training Boards Bill 2012 reaches its final stages and formalises the establishment of the 16 new Education and Training Boards. Both pieces of legislation provide the basis for a number of significant actions notably a Further Education and Training Strategy which will inform provision. To read more about what is planned over the coming months, see the SOLAS Action Plan, or read our latest blog entry about the latest IMF review which outlines some of the commitments the government has made regarding further education and training. AONTAS will continue to provide information and to advocate for a service that is based on the needs of adult learners. Book your place at the AGM.
Adult Learners’ Festival 2013 – Discover, explore and celebrate learning!
The Adult Learners’ Festival began on Monday February 25th, when details of this years STAR Awards winners were revealed. Thirty five organisations around the country were shortlisted for five awards. John Lonergan and Minister for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon presented the winners with their awards at the Burlington Hotel.
Thanks to everyone who joined in and made this years Festival such a success. Over 400 events took place throughout the country, including a pop up series of workshops organised by Open Learning Ireland at the Seomra Spraoi centre. Thanks to all the VEC centres, community organisations, family resource centres, libraries, galleries, museums and St Patricks Cathederal all of whom promoted learning opportunities for adults. Thanks also to Pat Liddys Walking Tours and Dublin Bus who helped launch this years schedule of events with a fantastic trip for 25 adult learners around Dublin city.On Friday March 1st our event for policy makers showed how community education can help people progress through the qualifications framework and to access employment. To read a press release about the event, click here. To read more about the STAR Awards and other Festival activities, visit the Festival website.