Manpower Services Commission

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A national body set up in 1974 to coordinate vocational training and with responsibility to manage and expand the government's vocational training schemes, such as the Youth Opportunities Programme and the Training Opportunities Scheme, which offered retraining and skills development to adults intending to re‐enter the workforce. As a result of the White Paper A New Training Initiative (1981), its work came to include coordination and management of the Youth Training Scheme and the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative. Its role involved dispensing funding to training providers, who included further education colleges, employers providing work‐based training, and private training organizations. This control over funding, and the MSC's policy of funding a range of training providers, was resented in some quarters of the further education sector, which had hitherto seen itself as the main, if not sole, provider of ‘off‐the‐job’ training. The MSC was absorbed into the Department of Employment in 1988 and renamed, first as the Training Commission and then as the Training Agency. In 1991 most of its functions were taken over by the Training and Enterprise Councils.

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