Longford / Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty has called for the restoration of the VTOS programme
While calling for the restoration of the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) programme for Longford town as part of the Just Transition up-skilling programme, Longford / Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty was informed by Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh that the programme had experienced a significant decline in learner numbers.
Deputy Flaherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he would liaise with the Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board (LWETB) and restore the VTOS programme for Longford town.
Minister McHugh, in a written response, said officials in his Department have made enquiries with LWETB and they were informed 'that following a review by the management of LWETB of the VTOS programme in Longford, it was found that the programme had experienced a significant decline in learner numbers over recent years'.
VTOS is a full-time 2 year programme which is aimed at adults who are long term unemployed.
Minister McHugh added, "VTOS is one programme among many options for learners in Longford and is part of a wider Further Education and Training (FET) provision in Longford and Westmeath.
"LWETB has stated that they are committed to providing reskilling options for learners across a range of programmes. Other available FET provision in LWETB includes the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI), a range of skills training programmes, PLC Courses and Community Education programmes.
"LWETB also provide an Adult Guidance Service that is confidential and free of charge , and offers assistance on selecting a programme that is best suited to a learner's individual needs."