1. To eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity

1.    
The vast majority of
stakeholders sees the FET sector as playing an important role in promoting
social inclusion and life-long learning, ESRI research, (p91), while
significant proportion of ETB provision (including the Adult Literacy and
Community Education Scheme and other community–based education) did not lead to
any form of accreditation. These challenges informed the need to balance the
maintenance of the inclusive ethos of, for example, the community education
sector, with the economic ethos of vocationally orientated provision such as
PLCs and Specific Skills training by ETBs and SOLAS. 

2.     Active
inclusion 

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3.     The
European Union Commission, identified a number of key findings of the PIAAC
survey, to inform education and training policies which are particularly
relevant for progressing active inclusion. Therefore, in October 2008, it
advocated Active Inclusion to all its Member States which enables every
citizen, notably the most disadvantaged, to participate fully in society such
as: 

4.     1.
Adequate income support together with help to get a job – This could be
achieved by linking out-of-work and in-work benefits, and by helping people to
access the benefits they are entitled to. 

5.      2.
Inclusive labour markets – Making it easier for people to join the work force,
tackling in work poverty, avoiding poverty traps and disincentives to work.  

6.     3.
Access to quality services – Helping people participate actively in society,
including getting back to work. 

7.     Equality 

8.     To
eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and treatment, it
proposed to merge the Equality Authority and the Human Rights Commission into a
newly established Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, where Public
bodies will have to have due regard, in the performance of their functions, to
human rights and equality, public bodies within the FET sector can seek
assistance from the new Commission to ensure that they comply with their
positive duties.  

9.     Recognition
of Prior Learning (RPL) 

10.   Under
an EU Council Recommendation, Member States must have arrangements in place for
the validation of non-formal and informal learning no later than 2018  and
under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act
2012, QQI is required to establish policies on recognition of prior learning
within the policies and criteria for Access, Transfer and Progression (ATP). In
addition, FET providers must subsequently establish, have approved and publish
their own policies and criteria for ATP, including those for credit
accumulation, credit transfer and identification, and formal assessment of the
knowledge, skills or competence previously acquired by learners. These include
the QQI, SOLAS, FET providers, employer organisations, individual employers,
trade unions, employment services and bodies involved in and approved in
recognising and certifying professional qualifications. 

11.    

12.   Low
Quality Employment  

13.   Groups
regarded as working and at risk of poverty, the so-called ‘working poor’,
informed the FET Strategy to provide access to the skills necessary to improve
the quality of employment and remuneration open to individuals, and thereby
promote social mobility objectives that lie at the core of the Europe 2020
Strategy. The FET sector will continue to progress and build on active
inclusion through the provision of high quality accessible and flexible
education, training and skill development interventions and supports suited to
the individual. More specifically, community education is aimed at individuals
who are distant from education, training and the labour market, and is
generally developed in local community projects and centres. 

14.   Community
Education  

15.   To
support the Community Educator Sector to progress active inclusion, the FET
need to develop clear access and progression routes to higher education.
Community education is a critical access point for many adults who left school
early and/or who have personal, familial or communal experience of
socio-economic exclusion. It facilitates many people to participate and work in
their local communities. It forms one of the pillars of FET to progress active
inclusion because among other things, it enables individuals to develop new
personal skills and knowledge as well as empower them to identify actions
needed to address a range of issues relating to their wellbeing. The success of
community education and the literacy and numeracy strategy to deliver these outcomes
for many individuals will be one of the best ways to judge the overall success
of the FET Strategy. 

16.   Disability
Strategy  

17.   The
National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan (2013-2015) includes a high
level goal which is centred on maximising the potential of people with
disabilities. More specifically the goal states that, “people with disabilities
get the education and training that enables them to reach their potential”. 

18.   Literacy
and Numeracy Strategy  

19.   In
addressing the needs of adults with low literacy, adult literacy services were
established to enable them function satisfactorily in work and everyday life.
NALA defines literacy as involving listening and speaking, reading, writing,
numeracy and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information
which increases the opportunity for individuals and communities to reflect on
their situation, explore new possibilities and initiate change. 

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