Plans just announced by the Department of Education and Skills will see the number of VECs (Vocational Education Committees) reduced from 33 to 16.
The new VECs will be merged into the new following regions:
- Co. Dublin and Dun Laoghaire
- City of Dublin
- City of Galway and Co. Galway
- City of Cork
- Co. Cork
- City of Limerick, Co. Limerick and Co. Kerry
- City of Waterford, Co. Waterford and Tipperary South Riding
- Wexford and Wicklow
- Carlow, Kilkenny and Kildare
- Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
- Louth and Meath
- Cavan and Monaghan
- Mayo and Sligo
- Leitrim, Roscommon and Longford
- Clare and Tipperary North Riding
An Tanaiste Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Education and Skills.This decision is part of the overall Government agenda to transform how our public services are delivered. This consolidation ensures that each of the 16 VECs will be organisations of sufficient scale to support the evolution of local education service delivery and to meet future challenges.
VECs have traditionally demonstrated a flexibility and responsiveness to changing and emerging needs. I see these changes as strengthening the sector for the undoubted challenges that lie ahead and positioning our VECs as key providers of education services locally.
The Irish Vocational Education Association said earlier that the plans were "regrettable" calling the decision a "bad day for local democracy" but that they had "reluctantly accepted" them.