In line with a Government Decision, from 2012 the Department of Education & Skills is required to produce its annual Estimate in a new Performance Budgeting format. The aim of this is to strengthen the focus of the Estimates process towards a greater emphasis on the outputs and outcomes that the Department will deliver with public funds, rather than the traditional focus on the financial inputs.
The new format is based on what the Department, in its Statement of Strategy, has undertaken to do and deliver. The Statement of Strategy will itself reflect commitments contained in the Programme for Government in relation to this Department. Performance Budgeting is a further development of the Annual Output Statement (AOS) process, whereby the traditional style Estimates were accompanied by the AOS, with both documents forming the basis of consideration of the draft Estimates by the relevant Oireachtas committee in advance of the vote in the house on the Estimates.
Associated Links: http://per.gov.ie/ and http://www.finance.gov.ie/
National Training Fund
As a result of the 1 May 2010 transfer of functions to the Department of Education and Skills from the then Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Department of Education and Skills assumed responsibility for the operation of the National Training Fund (NTF). The NTF is separate from the Voted Exchequer funding referred to above and is shown in the Books of Estimates as an Appendix to Vote 26.
The NTF is mainly resourced by a levy on employers of 0.7% of reckonable earnings of employees in certain employment classes, which is collected through the PAYE/PRSI system.
NTF expenditure in 2010 was €395m, while the allocation for 2011 was €362m. Some €314m of the 2011 allocation, or close to 87%, was in respect of training provided by FÁS, while other bodies to receive funding included IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and SFADCo.
The fund provides for expenditure on training for those seeking employment, training for persons in employment, literacy and numeracy, training for those in the community and voluntary sector and also provides funding for the identification of existing and future skills needs for the economy.
European Social Fund
The Department of Education and Skills, in addition to itself receiving Appropriations-in-Aid funding in respect of the European Social Fund (ESF), also, since 1 May 2010, became the lead Department for overall management of the ESF in Ireland, with responsibility for channelling ESF monies received from the European Commission through various other Departments and the National Training Fund account, to support a range of training courses, schemes and projects across the country. Total ESF funding of €52.1 million was received in 2010, while €112.4 million was received in 2011. This funding was allocated as follows:
Disbursement of European Social Fund (ESF) Receipts
|Department of Education and Skills||49.9||28.8|
|Department of Social Protection||0.2||0.2|
|Department of Justice and Equality||2.0||3.3|
|National Training Fund||0.0||80.1|
European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
A second EU fund for which the Department of Education and Skills assumed management responsibility with effect from 1 May 2010 is the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The EGF was established in December 2006 to support workers made redundant as a result of major changes in global trade patterns and its purpose is to provide supports to redundant workers to improve their employability and to assist them back into employment. The fund covers education and training programmes, career advice and guidance, and enterprise supports. Receipt of EU EGF funding is conditional on provision of matching national funding. Total EGF funding of €24.8m was received from the EU in 2010, while €35.7m was received in 2011.