Extra training places for job-seekers

ADDITIONAL training places for job-seekers and low-skilled workers are likely to be included in the budget tomorrow, Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has indicated.

The Government announced in February that an extra 51,000 training places would be offered through state training agency Fás this year,to help unemployed people improve their job prospects.

The minister said that further training places have been considered in the Government’s deliberations and discussions on economic recovery ahead of the budget.

“We’re looking at how we might provide further places, and we’re trying to set in place a fund that will ensure we can encapsulate as many people as possible who join the Live Register,” he said.

Mr O’Keeffe said apprentices might also be able to avail of additional training during summer holidays as part of a plan being negotiated by his officials.

The institutes of technology, which offer part of the apprenticeship training programmes, have offered to provide hundreds of training places at no extra cost to the state.

“It is an outstanding offer and one we’re obviously going to take up. It will require flexibility, and it will require a lot of courses for apprentices over the summer holiday period,” he said.

Mr O’Keeffe said he has had discussions with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland whose members include institute of technology lecturers on the issue, and he is hopeful of progress being made on the plans.

Apprentices undergo block release training for periods in institutes of technology as part of their programmes in learning various crafts and trades.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party will this afternoon launch proposals on training and tackling unemployment.


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