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Proposal to close FÁS misguided and simplistic – Doherty

3 September, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has described Rúairí Quinn’s proposal to close FÁS as misguided and too simplistic.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said:

“Deputy Quinn highlights a serious problem with FÁS but his proposal to close it down and divert funds to what he describes as established education is misguided and too simplistic. Education in Ireland is chronically under funded but this is not the answer.

“A lot of the courses provided by FÁS could be updated and new ones introduced to help train people for the modern Irish economy. Corruption and waste at the top end need to be cut out along with cutting wages at the top grade. We need to change the culture at FÁS but the concept remains sound.

“We need to ensure that courses provided to the unemployed by FÁS are made directly relevant to the needs of potential growth sectors of the economy including tourism, the agri-food sector, IT, and green technologies.

“But Deputy Quinn’s proposal to close FÁS altogether seriously undervalues the core service provided by FÁS in training workers, developing skills for the workplace and providing unemployed people with skills that can be put to good use.

“Deputy Quinn’s proposal also disregards our unemployment crisis and the hard work of the staff at FÁS who would all be made redundant if he had his way. These people and FÁS itself have a valuable role to play in tackling the jobs crisis. To place them in the dole queue would be ludicrous.” ENDS

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