Donegal County Council and Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) have signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further develop their capacities to achieve their respective missions through enhanced cooperation.
It is significant for the development of Donegal and the broader North West region as it leverages the existing close working relationship between Donegal County Council and Donegal ETB. Both bodies are leaders in pursuing national policy objectives in relation to cross-border engagement and recent developments regarding the North West City Region will be an important focus for this enhanced collaboration.
The document covers collaboration between the two bodies to further enhance the capacity of both organisations and assist them in delivering on key strategic objectives by setting out several initial aims for the partnership.
These include promoting sustainable economic development and job creation by working with stakeholders to address education and training needs and supporting the further development of local education infrastructure to enhance the region’s reputation as a leading location for education provision. An important aspect of this is working collaboratively with the Shared Island Initiative and the objectives of Ireland 2040 for the future growth and development of the entire region.
Examining opportunities for the sharing of resources to assist in improving service provision is a further aim. Donegal County Council and Donegal ETB will work to encourage and empower communities and individuals and provide them with the knowledge and skills to benefit from the county’s natural resources, such as the green, cultural, blue and digital economies.
Continuing the development of strategic international partnerships particularly through the Donegal Diaspora initiative and promoting and supporting entrepreneurship, investment, and enterprise are further areas for ongoing collaboration.
Additionally, the partnership aims to work collaboratively in supporting and using available resources to promote arts in education and on projects of mutual interest which will benefit the community in Donegal, particular projects which promote the use of the Irish language.
The document is consistent with the strategic plans and strategic statements of both organisations.
Donegal ETB last year launched its 2022-2026 Strategy Statement Transforming Learning – Changing Lives with one of its three themes being that of working with partners, along with teaching, learning and assessment and a progressive, accountable organisation.
Anne McHugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB is delighted to sign the MoU with Donegal County Council, stating: “Donegal ETB places great value on its work with Donegal County Council because both organisations can see the benefits of collaboration for our county. Both organisations have worked well together in a number of collaborative areas in the past and we look forward to building upon the achievements to date and to further strengthening the bonds in the years to come.”
Donegal County Council’s Corporate Plan 2020 – 2024 contains a number of strategic objectives including driving growth, delivering services, empowering communities, moving to low carbon climate resilience and building organisational capacity.
Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G McLaughlin, welcomed the signing of the MoU with Donegal ETB stating: “This Memorandum is a formal recognition of the excellent working relationship that exists between Donegal County Council and Donegal ETB, and underscores the value and importance that both organisations place on working collaboratively to enhance the North West region’s attractiveness and reputation as a leading location for education provision. By working together, we will improve our economic future in the entire North West region and help attract, develop and sustain jobs for future generations.”
A Strategic Planning Group will be established and meet regularly to discuss the operation and strategic development of the partnership.