Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD says the Government need to address the disparity in the availability of Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses in Meath.
Deputy Byrne made the comments after a report published by the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that Meath has the lowest rate of PLC courses available per capita in the entire country.
Deputy Byrne said, “This new report issued by the ESRI is deeply concerning. It shows that Meath isn’t getting its fair share of the resources when it comes to the availability of PLC courses. The ESRI has determined that the distribution of PLC courses is uneven around the country, with Meath being assigned the lowest number of courses on a per capita basis. The report highlights that the situation in Meath has worsened significantly since 2008.
“This issue arises as a result of the failure by Fine Gael to invest in education and grow the number of PLC courses available to perspective students. The number of courses available in Meath has remained static, yet the population in the county has grown significantly in recent years. This means that a greater number of people are fighting for the same number of places on PLC courses.
“PLC courses are important for people who want to develop their vocational and technological skills after completing the Leaving Certificate. They allow young people to broaden their horizons and gain the skills they need to secure a job. The Government should be aiming to ensure that everyone who wants to access a PLC course can do so with relative ease. It makes no sense to have unnecessary barriers to progress in our education system.
“The Government needs to examine this report closely and take on board its implications for Meath. We clearly need to see greater investment in PLC courses in Meath and the Government needs to put in place a plan to achieve this,” concluded Deputy Byrne.