Levenlangleren tegen de kredietcrisis

Nieuws | de redactie
3 juni 2011 | De Ierse regering gaat met haar sociale partners en het HO de diepe crisis helpen overwinnen. 6000 werklozen in ingestorte sectoren worden herschoold via maatwerk-LLL-trajecten naar de nieuwe groeibranches. Ondanks de grote tekorten investeert men hier €20 mln in.

In a joint effort of government, higher education sector andindustry, Ireland will offer continuing university education to6,000 unemployed people. Goal is to “upskill” those that were laidoff in the recent economic crisis and train them in areas that areof key interest to the Irish economy.

Hoger opgeleide werklozenn aanpakken

Ruairí Quinn, Irish Minister for Education, underlines the focusof this initiative stating that it is mandatory for participants tohave been previously employed in “traditional sectors such asconstruction, manufacturing and retail” as those are unlikely torecover to pre-crisis levels. Furthermore,the fund would “targetthose with a previous history of employment with higher levels ofqualifications who require additional upskilling or reskilling toenable them to re-enter employment” according to Quinn.

1 year programs will be offered mainly in the areas of”pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food, high-tech and businessservices”, says Tony Donohoe, education representative of the IrishBusiness and Employers Confederation (IBEC). Higher EducationAuthority, an Irish government agency with advisory functions andfunding authority over all universities and institutes oftechnology, will manage this €20m project.

Both institutes of technology (IOTI) and a number ofuniversities such as University of Limerick, University CollegeDublin, Dublin City University and University College Cork havecommitted themselves to this project. Applicants would then haveeasy access to all information and required procedures online. Basicconditions for participants will be that the individual wasunemployed for at least 6 months, had a job before and is currentlyreceiving unemployment benefits from the Irish government.

Bovens en Balkenende op Ierse lijn

Ex Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende recently underlined theimportance of life-long learning stating that “investing in [such asystem] is not just a responsibility for the government, theeducational system of universities and hogescholen and forindividual citizens. It is really important that industry andcorporations also step in and take their responsibility as well.”In that sense, Ireland pioneers with this project bringing togetherall stakeholders involved to tackle high unemployment rates.

Theo Bovens, Chairman of Open University andmember of the Social Economic Council (SER), seconds this sayingthat “the Dutch government has to take an active role in promotinglife-long learning to not fall behind other OECD countries”. Thiswould also go together with the EU2020 goal with the ambitious goal to makesure that at least 40% of all European citizens completed a thirdeducation degree, with the Netherlands aiming for 50% and more.

Despite this urgent issue, Bovens states that “the currentgovernment missed out on the chance to go beyond politicalstatements and actually make more funding available for life-longlearning programs”.

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