Vocational Education Committee

Vocational Education Committee

A Vocational Education Committee (VEC) ( _ga. Coiste Gairm Oideachais) is a statutory local education body in the Republic of Ireland that administers some secondary education and most adult education in the state. Before 1992 VECs had authority over the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Regional Technical Colleges.


VECs were originally created by the Vocational Education Act 1930, as successors to the Technical Instruction Committees established by the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act 1899. The original purpose of the committees was to administer continuation and technical education for 14 to 16 year-olds. Continuation education was defined as "general and practical training in preparation for employment in trades", while technical education was described as "pertaining to trades, manufacturers, commerce and other industrial pursuits". To this end the VECs were charged with the duty of setting up and maintaining vocational schools. [ [http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1930_29.html Vocational Education Act, 1930, accessed October 20, 2007] ]

Present duties

Since 1930 the duties of VECs have increased, in particular in the area of adult education. These include:

"Post-primary (secondary) education"
*Vocational Schools
*Community Colleges

"Further and adult education"
*Post-Leaving Certificate courses (PLCs)
*Youthreach Services
*Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
*Community Education [ [http://www.corkvec.ie/about/ "What are VECs?", (Cork VEC), visited October 20, 2007] ]

VECs also administer maintenance grants and bursaries for third-level education.

In September 2008, County Dublin VEC opened the first Community National School, in Porterstown, Dublin 15. This marks the first time a VEC has become involved in primary school education. [http://www.codubvec.ie/index.cfm/go/news_one/news_key/266]


VECs were originally established in each administrative county and county borough in the then Irish Free State. In addition, a VEC was formed in those municipal boroughs and urban districts which had a separate Technical Instruction Committee under the 1899 legislation (namely Bray, Drogheda, Sligo, Tralee and Wexford) and in the newly-created Borough of Dún Laoghaire.

The number of VECs was reduced to the present thirty-three when five town committees were amalgamated with the adjacent county committees, leaving Dun Laoghaire as the only VEC area not consisting of a city or county.


Each Vocational Education Committee was elected by the county, borough or urban district council and consisted partly of councillors and partly of persons with an "interest and experience in education" and who could be recommended by bodies "interested in manufacture or trades".

The Vocational Education (Amendment) Act 2001 changed the composition of the committees, and parents of students under 18 and members of the staff are also entitled to elect committee members. Members can also be appointed to represent the interests of students, voluntary organisations, community organisations, Irish language interests and business. [ [http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2001/en/act/pub/0023/index.html Vocational Education (Amendment) Act 2001, accessed October 20, 2007] ]

List of Vocational Education Committees

VEC Schools

*Coláiste Ráithín

External links

* [http://www.ivea.ie Irish Vocational Education Association]
* [http://www.clvec.ie City of Limerick Vocational Education Committee]
* [http://www.cdvec.ie City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee]


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