Speaking on the announcement of the Budget 2012, T.D. for Dublin North Deputy Alan Farrell was encouraged by the focus on the most vulnerable in society by the Department of Education.
“With the fiscal pressures currently being faced by this Government the protection of the pupil-teacher ratio, at primary level, will ensure that our children get the best possible start to their education. This Government has done its best to protect disadvantaged students and to provide for their futures. This announcement is providing for a number of reforms to the education sector in our ever changing economic situation.
“The focus is on up-skilling for those who are currently unemployed and ensuring that disadvantaged students and those with special needs are protected.
Deputy Farrell went on to say that “the €20 million Labour Activation Fund will target those unemployed for 12 months or more and will ensure that they can retrain and up-skill in order to adapt to the ever changing jobs market. This funding, along with an additional injection of €10 million to the Springboard scheme, will increase part-time higher education opportunities for those unemployed.
“Our education sector is a key aspect in moving us on from the current economic situation. While it may take some time, Government initiatives will go some way to assisting those who wish to upskill or remain on in full time education.”