Wednesday, 27th July 2011
As the designated gateway to the southeast, the largest population centre in the region and with a central location to the area involved, Waterford city is uniquely placed as the location for the headquarters of the new Vocational Education Committee (VEC) to cover Waterford city and county as well as Wexford. That's according to Cllr. Jack Walsh, Chairman, City of Waterford VEC.
Cllr. Walsh said the decision announced late last month by Ruairí Quinn TD, Minister for Education & Skills, to reduce the number of VECs nationally to 16 with the two Waterford VECs and Wexford VEC among those to merge had been anticipated.
"We had been aware for some time that there would be significant rationalisation of this sector and that this would impact in Waterford. The move to combine the City of Waterford VEC with the VECs in Co Waterford and Wexford makes sense and the new authority will be able to achieve economies of scale and deliver cost savings over time.
"In announcing the proposed mergers, Minister Quinn also acknowledged the important role the new entities will play in delivering lifelong learning, further education and training at a crucial time for the country. It is particularly encouraging to hear of the Government plans to devolve greater authority and responsibility at a local level in the new regime. The Minister also sees considerable potential for the VECs providing management, procurement and administrative services to schools and institutions right across all levels and sectors of education."
Dealing specifically with the southeast region, Cllr Walsh said that geography, scale and spatial planning all favour Waterford city as the location for the headquarters of the new VEC covering Waterford and Wexford.
"As well as being designated as gateway to the southeast in the National Spatial Strategy, Waterford city is also the largest population centre in the southeast and our location is midway between counties Waterford and Wexford so that the overall journey times and costs for those from these areas who will work regularly or occasionally at the new headquarters will be minimised and balanced evenly once it is located in Waterford rather than at either end of the region."
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