An €8 million fund for further education capital grants is to be given to the country’s 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs), of which a maximum of €580,000 will go to the Waterford and Wexford ETB (WWETB).
The funding will allow for the delivery of small-scale infrastructure and improvement works, and for the purchase of equipment.
The investment forms part of Project Ireland 2040 and will be provided via SOLAS, the State agency tasked with building the Further Education and Training sector.
WWETB has been included alongside the City of Dublin, Cork ETB, Dublin/ Dun Laoghaire and Limerick/Clare ETBs in this funding basket.
Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler (FF), welcomed the potential €580,000 funding boost.
She said the monies could potentially support WWETB in progressing their plans for further education and training, addressing smaller scale improvement works in the near term and allowing for the procurement of professional building surveys to inform longer term plans.
“This funding programme will also enable WWETB to make decisions around small-scale FET investment priorities locally, and to ensure that projects can be advanced quickly and efficiently,” she said.
Under the programme, “ETBs will be in a position to make decisions around small-scale FET investment priorities locally, and to ensure that projects can be advanced quickly and efficiently,” a statement from the Department of Further Education said.
The grant will also allow ETBs “an opportunity to consider future accommodation needs and to procure professional expertise to conduct condition surveys of existing buildings, with a view to a strategic approach to estate planning and development.”
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said the funding is a “direct response” to the “significant needs of the sector”, adding that it represented “a signal of intent of the importance of this sector for my new Department and a sign of the focus we intend to place on further education.”