GRETB works in partnership with all of our external stakeholders such as SOLAS, QQI, DEASP, Prison Service, Employers, Regional Skills Fora, and employers. While we have extensive relationships with stakeholders we have to develop formal engagement policies and procedures. This applies particularly to engagement with employers for learners’ work placements. Centres and schools have individual policies in place but there is no organisation wide policy.
SOLAS: SOLAS is the State Organisation with responsibility for funding, planning and co-ordinating Further Education and Training (FET) in Ireland. It is the main funder of GRETB’s further education and training programmes. In order to secure funding GRETB submits an annual service plan and financial reports to SOLAS. The Service Plan includes inputs, outputs and certification reports gathered on the PLSS/FARR database. The plan is drawn up by GRETB’s FET Support Group and approved under our governance structure.
Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI): Since its establishment in 2013 GRETB has operated the four separate quality assurance policies and procedures originally agreed with FETAC. GRETB is in the process of re-engaging with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the independent State agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland. In 2017 GRETB learners achieved 9941 QQI awards across 42 FET centres. GRETB staff also engages with QQI on a number of projects and a range of sectoral consultations.
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: GRETB’s centre and school staff have built strong relationships with local DEASP offices. Referrals to GRETB courses are made through DEASP, both by verbal referrals and through DEASP’s BOMi system. DEASP’s BOMi system ‘communicates’ with the PLSS/FARR system, the national database used by the ETBs. Area meetings are held quarterly throughout Galway and Roscommon between GRETB staff and DEASP staff to update on current situations and inform future planning of courses. The various sub-sections of FET i.e. VTOS, Youthreach, BTEI, Literacy, Guidance, the Training Centre, LTIs are represented at the meetings. An interagency protocol is in place to manage the relationship between the two bodies.
Regional Skills Fora: The FET Director represents GRETB on the Fora. This Fora meets c 5 times a year to analyse employment needs and trends and assess skill gaps. The Fora links industry players and educational institutions together in order to create clear pathways to learning and employment. Senior managers are represented on a number of sub-committees reporting to the Fora.
Employers: The Director of FET is also pursuing a formal structure to facilitate GRETB’s engagement with employers to ensure timely delivery of relevant programmes. An Employer Engagement Group was established for this purpose.
ETBI: Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) is an association established under the Education and Training boards Act 2013 to collectively represent education and training boards and promote their interests. As part of its role ETBI promotes the development and implementation of appropriate education and training policies, procedures and guidance for ETBs. GRETB staff actively support ETBI in this role through membership of various fora and groups. Current membership includes:
ETBI Technical Working Group on Corporate Governance and Compliance
ETBI Technical Working Group on Quality Assurance Professional Development Framework for FET
ETBI Procurement Network Meeting
ETBI Property Steering Group
ETBI National Forum for Freedom of Information and Data Protection
ETBI Assessment Framework Group
ETBI EA Review Group
ETBI Principals of Further Education & Training Colleges Network
Membership of other groups:
Galway Chamber of Commerce
Roscommon Leader SICAP approval Board
Roscommon Childcare Committee
Galway Childcare Committee
GRETB PR/Social Media/Marketing Group
Galway City Partnership
Galway Rural Development
Western Regional Drugs Taskforce
Galway County Local Community Development Committee
Galway Community Training Centre
Tuam Community Training Centre
Canal House Training Centre
Dochas Don Oige
GRETB GDPR In-house Working Group (currently being formed)
TEL Strategy Group
National Training Centre Managers Forum
National Apprenticeship Managers Forum
National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals
NAPD – FET Committee
FE2 HE Forum
Contracted Training Advisory Group (CTAG)
RPL Steering Group Network
Evaluation Panel for Initial Access to Validation