The first meeting of the newly-formed Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board was held at the Killashee House Hotel last Tuesday.
The meeting follows the enactment of the Education and Boards Act 2013 on July 1, which means that the former Vocational Education Committees (VECs) have now been replaced by Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The ETBs will also undertake all of the training that was carried out by Fás when the Act establishing SOLAS is commenced.
Sean Ashe, the First Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board welcomed the Board members to the meeting which he described as “an historic occasion”. He added: “VECs can look back with pride and the vision which we had as separate VECs will now be enhanced by the joining together of the two VECs in the new single Statutory Board. We have challenges ahead but also great opportunities.”
Kildare Mayor Mark Wall was unanimously elected as Chairperson and Michael Lawlor was unanimously elected Deputy Chairperson. The Chairperson thanked all for attending and wished the CEO well in his new role.
Mr Ashe presented the members with an overview of the key metrics for the new ETB and outlined his proposals for restructuring the administrative systems to enable the new ETB operate in an effective and efficient manner.
AEOs Catherine Byrne and Des Murtagh made a presentation to the board welcoming the new challenges and stated that an area of great change will be the further education sector as ETBs take on the responsibility for both education and training, formally the remit of the VECs and Fás. Funding for further education and training will be accessed through the new statutory body called SOLAS when the Act is commenced.