Education and Training Boards Act 2013.

The purpose of the Act was

  • to extend the functions of Vocational Education Committees, now the Education and Training Boards  in relation to youth work;
  • to provide for making of grants in relation to youth work;
  • to provide for the appointment of an Assessor of Youth Work;
  • to establish Voluntary Youth Councils;
  • to provide for the development and co-ordination of organisations and persons engaged in youth work and in the provision of youth work programmes and youth work services.

For that purpose, the legislation established a National Youth Work Advisory Committee.

A young person, in this context, is a person under 25 years old.  Youth work means a planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young person’s through their voluntary participation. It is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education or training. It is provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.  Youth work services mean services that indirectly or directly, assists in the provision of youth work.

Coordination of Policies

The Minister insofar as practicable shall ensure that the development and coordination of policies relating to youth work programmes and youth work services in both Irish and English language,

  • ensure the co-ordination of youth work programmes and youth work services with education programmes and other programmes that provide services for young persons;
  • provide from within the financial resources available, monies in each financial year to assist in the provision of youth work programme and services;
  • conduct research in the area of youth work and youth work programmes;
  • monitor, at least annually, a youth work programme or youth work service receiving money under the legislation;
  • carry out an assessment, at least every three years, of youth work programmes or youth work services provided by an approved voluntary youth work organisation, designated local voluntary youth work organisation or authorised organisation, in receipt of funds, monies under the legislation;
  • carry out an assessment, at least every three years, of a youth work programme or service and for which money are provided by an ETB;
  • carry out, at least once in every three years, an assessment of a youth work programme or youth work service provided in accordance with a resolution of an ETB.

The Minister is to have regard to

  • the treatment of male and female young persons, respectively, in relation to access to youth work;
  • the number of male and female persons who are likely to participate; and
  • youth work requirements of person between the age of 10 and 21 years, who reside in the Gaeltacht areas and whose first language is Irish.

The Minister is to endeavour to ensure that regard is had to the information needs of young persons,  the youth work requirements of persons between the age of 10 and 21 years and other young persons, who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

Objectives & Duties

In addition to other functions conferred on an ETB, the ETB insofar as practicable and within its financial resources is to ensure that the provision within its vocational education area of youth work programmes or youth work services or both, by coordinating its plans, proposals and activities with approved national voluntary youth work organisations, designated local voluntary youth work organisations and authorised organisations within its area to ensure the provision of those programmes and services by those organisations and providing assistance to such parties subject to such conditions as may be determined by the ETB in accordance with guidelines as may be issued by the Minister following consultation with the National Youth Work Advisory Committee.

ETBs shall ensure co-ordination of youth work programmes and services with educational programmes or other programmes that provide service for young persons.  They shall ensure that in the provision of youth work programmes or services, particular regard shall be had to the needs of persons between 10 and 21 and other young persons who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

ETBs shall monitor and assess the youth work programmes or services or both, for which money are provided and shall have regard in particular to an evaluation of the expenditure incurred.  They shall prepare a Development Plan and make all reasonable efforts to ensure that all youth work in its area is provided in accordance with the Development Plan.  They shall consult with and report in regard to youth work to such persons as the Minister may, from time to time, direct.

A vocational education committee, in coordinating as provided must have regard to the treatment of male and female young persons, in access to work, the number of male and female persons likely to participate.

Monitoring Organisations

Where an organisation in receipt of financial assistance does not comply with conditions or directions, the ETB may withdraw or reduce the amount of the financial assistance.  Where it proposes to do so, it is to give prior notice.  The organisation within 21 days may make representations as to the reason why the withdrawal or reduction is not warranted.  The Assessor of Youth Work is to consider such representations and make recommendations to the ETB.  The ETB is to consider the recommendations in making his decision.

Where an ETB considers that youth work programmes or services are required but are not being provided, it shall publish a notice in two newspapers inviting organisations to submit proposals for that programme or service specifying the information, the ETB may require in relation to it.  It shall assess, in accordance with ministerial guidelines and regulations and following consultation with the youth work committee for the area, the suitability of the proposals.  The ETB shall consider the proposals and if it considers none is suitable, it shall prepare a report informing each organisation of its decision and reasons.  The organisations may make representations that are to be taken into account by the ETB in making its decision.

Where the Minister is of the view that the ETB fails to perform its functions under the Act, it may remove the functions and transfer it to the Chief Executive Officer of the committee or such other body as the Minister may specify for a period, not exceeding two years.  The Minister is to follow a certain procedure and allow for representations to be made before making any such decision.

Programmes, Plans and Services

An ETB may pursuant to a resolution, provide a youth work programme or a service in respect of a proposal.  An ETB that provides a youth work programme or youth work service is not to provide it for more than three years unless it is satisfied there is no organisation that can or is prepared to make suitable arrangements for its provision and shall before the end of the second year and every third year thereafter, apply the procedure above for the purpose of ascertaining as to whether suitable arrangements can be made with the relevant organisation.

An ETB shall at such times and for such periods as it relates, prepare a Youth Work Development Plan for its area.  The Plan is to be submitted to the Minister for approval.  It is to specify the youth work requirements in its area and the measures required to meet those requirements.  It is to have particular regard to certain factors such as needs of persons between 10 and 21, socially and economically disadvantaged persons and young persons whose first language is Irish.  A Development Plan may be adopted as approved or amended by the Minister.  The Development Plan shall be available for inspection by the members of the public during normal business hours.

In each financial year, an ETB shall examine the implementation of the Development Plan, the effect and efficiency of the youth work programmes and services provided, treatment of male and female young persons, in relation to access and work, numbers of male and female young persons, accessing work and cause an evaluation to be made of the programmes or services within its area in relation to the matters specified in the Plan.  They shall set out comments in the Youth Work Report annually and submit it to the Minister.  The Minister may issue directions to the ETB in relation to the preparation of the Annual Report with which the ETB must comply.  The ETB shall consult with the youth work committee in relation to the preparation of its Report.

Ministerial Oversight

Without limiting the functions of the ETB, the Minister may take such steps to ensure the provision of youth work programmes or services or both, in two or more areas in which, in the opinion of the Minister, they are required, by providing assistance, including financial assistance to one or more approved national voluntary youth work organisations or authorised organisations or a supplementary youth work programme or work service are both complementary to the approved Development Plan in an ETB.  In which in the opinion of the Minister they are required, by providing assistance to one or more approved national voluntary work organisations, designated local voluntary youth work organisations or authorised organisations.

The Minister is to appoint an Assessor of Youth Work, to exercise functions under the legislation.  The Assessor may examine the operation of programmes and services and their books, accounts and records.  Providers of youth work services must furnish documents as may be required.  The Assessor shall submit to the Minister and to the provider of the programme or services a report setting out findings.  The Assessor is to submit an annual report and such other reports as the Minister may require.  They shall contain the results of the assessments in accordance with the above and such other matters as the Minister may require.  The Assessor is to be employed by the Minister in accordance with such terms and conditions, which may include secondment from another office, as the Minister, with the consent of the Department of Finance, may determine.

Advisory Councils & Committees

The Minister is to appoint the National Youth Work Advisory Committee to advise and consult with the Minister in relation to youth work.  They shall advise the Minister on the provision and co-ordination of youth work programmes and services, the development and implementation of youth work policies, coordination of youth work programmes and services with general educational services,  contents of guidelines and regulations as may be issued by the Minister above, criteria for approval of organisations, criteria which a voluntary youth work organisation must normally fulfil for designation.

The members are to be between 31 and 33.  The Minister is to appoint a chairperson, there are nominees from various other departments including Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Social and Community Affairs, Environment, Health, Justice, Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as well as  FAS/SOLAS.  There were provisions for the appointment of nomination by the Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organisation.  The Minister is to try and ensure gender balance.

An ETB committee is to appoint a youth work committee for its area to make recommendations in relation to the ETB on the performance of its functions and advise on matters on which the ETB requests advice.  There are procedures where the ETB resolves not to implement a recommendation.  The committee is to be given the reasons and may request that the matter be reconsidered.  Where it is still not followed, the committee and a Minister is to be informed stating the reasons.

Youth work committees, are to be nominated from various parties including nominees by various entities including the ETB, certain government departments, SOLAS, Health Boards, county councils, Údarás na Gaeltachta where applicable Garda Síochána, and  Inspectorate.

Voluntary Youth Council

There is to be a Voluntary Youth Council elected to advise the ETB in the preparation and implementation of matters specified in the Development Plan prepared by the ETB. The Voluntary Youth Council is to be a forum for the voluntary youth work organisations operating in the area to discuss the provision of youth work programmes and services and shall nominate persons for appointment to a youth work committee.  The Voluntary Youth Council shall have between 10 and 20 members as the ETB determines.

Certain persons are eligible for election to Voluntary Youth Councils.  The ETB may organise an election to a Voluntary Youth Council.  It shall determine voting procedures, classification and nomination of candidates, qualification of electors, youth organisations that may nominate persons, declaration of the poll etc.

A Voluntary Youth Council shall appoint one or more of its members to act as chairperson of the Council.  It shall regulate its own procedure and business.  It shall meet at least once annually but not more than four times a year without the consent of the Minister.  A member of a Youth Council does not receive remuneration but may receive travelling and subsistence expenses.

Authorising Organisations

The Minister may prescribe organizations representing voluntary youth work organisations to be the Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organisation for the purposes of nominating members of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee above.  The National Youth Council of Ireland is prescribed as the first Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organisation for three years after the commencement of the legislation.

The Minister may authorise organizations for the purpose of the Act.  The Minister may approve voluntary youth work organisations that provide youth work programmes or services in two or more ETBs as an approved national voluntary youth work organisation under the Act.  There is a provision for review or refusal of approval of a national youth work organisation.  There is a procedure for withdrawal of status.

The Minister may direct an ETB to prepare and submit a Youth Work Budget for the purpose of its functions under the Act.  It shall specify for the relevant financial year the programmes, youth work programmes and services in respect of which it proposes to provide financial assistance, provide an estimate of expenditure and income.  It shall consult the youth work committee for its area.  An ETB shall supervise the implementation of the Youth Work Budget.

The Minister may make grants out of public money for the purposes of any of the following: ETB approved national voluntary youth work organisation, designated local voluntary youth work organisation or authorised organisation.  The payment shall be subject to such conditions as are specified.  Organisations receiving money must keep proper records of accounts and render them submit them to the Minister annually.

There is provision for withdrawal or reduction of accounts where conditions are not complied with. The Minister may from time to time issue directions in relation to the provision monitoring and evaluation of the youth work programmes or services and the directions must be complied with.

The Minister is to publish annually a list of approved national voluntary youth work organisations, authorised organisations, designated local voluntary youth work organisations and the ETB committee to which they are designated and the Prescribed National Representative Youth Organisation.  The list must be made available to the public.

 

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