On behalf of the Further Education and Training Division, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, I wish to congratulate Limerick College of Further Education on the publication of its second Strategic Plan 2014-18.
Its publication is timely as the Further Education and Training landscape is undergoing significant transformational change with the emergence of Education and Training Boards, SOLAS, QQI, Intreo etc. Such changes cannot be implemented without the input of key stakeholders such as Limerick College of Further Education. Its contribution to the transformational process will become evident as it implements the strategic pillars of providing responsive programmes in consultation with strategic partners, within modern campus environments, supported by a revised Teaching and Learning strategy.
Limerick College of Further Education, the largest dedicated Further Education College in the Mid-West, has established a reputation for providing high-quality programmes and graduates across several disciplines. The College represents a model of best practice in the Further Education and Training sector. This Strategic Plan 2014-18 will add further to its reputation and will have a positive impact on the local, regional and national economy.
I am hugely proud of the achievements and reputation of Limerick College of Further Education. The Director, Mr Pat Maunsell, has again shown great vision and initiative in developing this Strategic Plan, in conjunction with all staff and stakeholders. I wish to convey my full support to the management and staff of the College as they move to the next phase of implementing the Strategic Plan and monitoring it through an annual review of KPIs.
I congratulate them on their dedication and commitment to date and wish them every success in the future.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce LCFE’s second strategic plan. This plan, the result of extensive internal and external consultation, sets out the strategic pillars, goals and KPIs that will direct the work of LCFE over the period 2014 to 2018. The purpose of the plan is to consolidate and build upon the work of the previous strategic plan and to provide a blueprint for the challenging years ahead. Flexibility is built into the plan because it is acknowledged that things will evolve over its lifetime, due to the challenging and changing environment in which the College operates.
The Strategic Plan 2014-2018 is being launched at a time of significant change in the Further Education and Training sector which will both provide challenges and opportunities to LCFE over the next few years. However, the College is no stranger to transition and has evolved and grown to become a major player in the FET sector in Ireland. The intention of this plan is to help LCFE to grow and innovate, strengthening its course offerings, creating further enduring partnerships, enhancing its infrastructure and, most importantly, continuing to improve its teaching and learning. This will be done in a spirit of distributed leadership and collaboration, underpinned by the enduring LCFE principles of professionalism, respect, innovation and inclusiveness.
In presenting the Strategic Plan, I would like to thank the College staff and all our stakeholders who have contributed to its development and for providing excellent support and encouragement to the College. I would especially like to thank the Steering Committee for their significant contribution to its development and completion and to Ms Helen Murphy, Head of Education at WIT, who facilitated the process in such an effective and professional manner. We, the staff of the College, look forward to implementing the actions outlined in the plan over the next four years and will continue to strive to meet the needs of our learners in this region. I am confident that we will deliver on the objectives set out herein and that LCFE will continue to exert a major influence on FET provision in this region and beyond over the years ahead.
Further education and training in Ireland is undergoing a period of transformational change. The emergence of the new Education and Training Boards (ETBs), the establishment of SOLAS, the newly formed Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the creation of a new national service, Intreo, and he changing needs of learners have all informed the development of this new strategic plan for Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE).
The plan reflects the new legislation governing the Further Education and Training (FET) sector (Education and Training Boards Act 2013, Further Education and Training Act 2013), the recent NESC Review of Further Education and Training (NESC, November 2013) and recent Expert Group on Future Skills Needs reports (Forfas, EGFSN 2012, 2013) outlining the current and future skills needs of the Irish labour force. This strategic plan also takes account of developments taking place at the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.
The development of the plan has included consultation with stakeholders, internal and external to LCFE, and a comprehensive review of the previous strategic plan, achievements and areas for further development. LCFE has also conducted research into FET provision nationally and internationally to help inform the goals and objectives for the period of this strategic plan.
The plan addresses the period 2014-2018 and sets out the strategic pillars or foundations upon which the strategic goals for LCFE are based.
The strategic pillars which emerged from the extensive consultation are:
In addition, two cross-cutting themes were identified which underpin the above: firstly, our engagement of ICT across the College, and secondly, leadership will be required at all levels of the organisation in order to achieve our vision.
The plan reflects the values of LCFE; professionalism in further education and training; innovation and creativity; respect for all and an inclusive approach. These values echo the role for the FET sector set down in the NESC review (NESC, 2013) and the SOLAS Plan which is, namely, that the Further Education and Training sector has both social and economic objectives.
LCFE strives to be a leader nationally and internationally in the Further Education and Training sector. The College is not only interested in best practice but in next practice. LCFE wishes to invent a new future for itself and play a leading role in the emergent Further Education and Training Sector in Ireland. Management and staff of LCFE are determined to implement this plan and will measure its success by rigorous monitoring of agreed key performance indicators and through regular consultation with key stakeholders.