Paying for education - Extend this arrangement

A well-educated and committed workforce is at the centre of any successful economy. In an ever changing world, professional demands are incessant and qualifications once thought more than adequate can become irrelevant very quickly.

Employees who wish to remain relevant — employable — must often update skills or acquire others. Because of this in-service, education is often desirable, often necessary, but not always possible.

Today, we report that the Government has paid more than €4m in college fees for government staff in the last two years. It would be foolish to criticise this, but it is not unfair to compare it to the situation faced by many workers outside the public service where no such support is available. Redressing this imbalance would address an unintended but unfortunate anomaly and certainly generate momentum in our economy.

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