What are ETBs

Education and Training Boards (ETBs) are statutory bodies which were established on 1st July 2013 under the Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (hereinafter called “the Act”) to replace the Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and to take on an enhanced role in the delivery of training. The Act created a new structure that is better positioned to support the evolution of service delivery in schools under the direct governance of an ETB and in the further education and training sector. In delivering further education and training, ETBs have a strong relationship with SOLAS, the further education and training authority.

Overview Of The Main Functions Carried Out By ETBs

Under the 1998 Education Act, ETBs are the legal patrons of the post-primary schools that they maintain (Vocational Schools or Community Colleges). ETBs are also involved in facilitating the provision of multi-denominational education at primary level. ETBs also have an important role in the Community School sector, where they are co-patrons with religious authorities, and in relation to Comprehensive Schools where the Chief Executive is a member of and ex-officio secretary to the Board of Management. ETBs play a central role in the provision of further education and training (FET). FET is primarily delivered or contracted by the 16 ETBs under the funding and strategic direction of SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority. FET provision includes programmes that are labour market focused and programmes with a strong social inclusion dimension. FET programmes are delivered in a wide range of settings including Post-Leaving Certificate and Further Education Colleges, Training Centres, Youthreach and adult education centres. FET is also provided through community and voluntary groups, commercial training providers and in workplaces.


SOLAS, the further education and training authority, was established in 2013. SOLAS is responsible for the co-ordination, funding and strategic direction for FET in Ireland. SOLAS works with ETBs to agree annual FET service plans and to undertake a comprehensive programme of reform through the implementation of the Further Education and Training Strategy.